WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest fell to No. 20 Virginia Tech, 77-65, on Sunday evening inside Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Trailing by 10 points (42-32) with 13:26 remaining in the second half, the Deacons went on a 12-2 run to tie the game at 44 apiece with 8:07 to go in the game. During that span, Wake Forest held the Hokies to just one-for-six shooting from the field and forced three turnovers.
Wake Forest (3-5, 0-5) battled Virginia Tech (11-2, 5-1) down to the wire, as a three-pointer from junior guard Daivien Williamson brought the Hokies lead down to just two points (57-55) with 1:13 left in the game.
However, VT did not surrender its lead.
Wake Forest held Virginia Tech to just 25 percent shooting (4-for-18) from behind the three-point arc on Sunday. The last time the Demon Deacons held an ACC team under 25 percent shooting on a minimum of 15 attempts was against North Carolina on March 3, 2020.
Sophomore forward Ismael Massoud continued his good shooting in conference play, leading the Deacs in scoring with 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting (3-for-6 behind the arc). The sharpshooter is now averaging two made-triples per game on 47.6 percent shooting in ACC games.
Williamson continued his streak of double-digit scoring games, finishing with 11 points after scoring 17 and 19 against Duke and Louisville, respectively. The Winston-Salem native also recorded a career-high three steals on Sunday.
Junior guard Isaiah Wilkins played a key role against his former team, as he scored six second-half points and grabbed five rebounds and one steal.
How It Happened
Isaiah Mucius opened up scoring for the Deacs at the charity stripe after the team forced a Virginia Tech turnover on their opening possession. Minutes later, Mucius knocked down his fourth three-pointer of the season to give the Deacs an early 4-2 lead.
Wake Forest regained the lead (9-8) after an Ody Oguama hook shoot with 12:34 remaining in the first period.
After VT jumped out to a 17-9 advantage, the Deacs responded with a 10-3 run that featured two treys from Ismael Massoud and four made-free throws from Daivien Williamson.
That run trimmed the Hokie lead down to 20-19 with 6:12 remaining.
The Deacs entered intermission down 29-23, while shooting just 22.6 percent in the first half.
The Deacs grabbed nine offensive rebounds and forced seven Hokie turnovers in the opening 20 minutes of game action.
Williamson, Massoud, and Mucius each poured in six first half points to lead Wake Forest’s offensive punch.
Ody Oguama scored the first four points of the second half for the Deacons, with his second basket bringing the score to 32-27.
Isaiah Wilkins’ connected on his first three-pointer of the contest to make it a one-possession game with 15:02 remaining.
Virginia Tech responded with a quick 8-0 run, which ultimately was ended by a Massoud three-point play that kept Wake Forest in the game at a score of 42-35.
The successful and-one jump by Massoud started a 12-2 Wake Forest run that tied the game at 44 after a Jahcobi Neath layup with 8:07 remaining.
The Deacs tied the game again (46-46) moments later thanks to a Mucius layup with 6:59 remaining.
After a 9-3 Hokie run, Massoud’s third triple brought the game back to one possession (55-52) with 2:53 remaining.
A Williamson trey cut the Virginia lead to two points (57-55) with a little over one minute left in the game.
Wake Forest fell to No. 20 Virginia Tech 61-55.
With the Deacs down 44-40, Isaiah Wilkins continued what would become a 12-2 run by grabbing a steal and hitting a layup to bring the game back to one possession (44-42) with 9:44 remaining. Guard Jahcobi Neath capped off the run with a layup to tie the game at 44 with 8:07 left in the game.
Stats of the Game
Wake Forest totaled 10 steals on Sunday, which marked its first double-digit total against an ACC team since March 3, 2018 against Georgia Tech. Additionally, Wake Forest held Virginia Tech to just 25 percent shooting (4-for-18) from behind the three-point arc on Sunday. The last time the Demon Deacons held an ACC team under 25 percent shooting on a minimum of 15 attempts was against North Carolina on March 3, 2020.
On the boards, the Demon Deacons grabbed a season-high 16 offensive rebounds on Sunday. That total is the most in a game since Wake Forest had 16 against North Carolina A&T on Nov. 10, 2018. Additionally, it is the most against an ACC team since the Deacs grabbed 15 against Duke on Jan. 23, 2018.
Straight From Forbes
“Congrats to Virginia Tech. I think their team is a reflection of their head coach. They’re tough, physical, they execute, they stay with the plan, and they’re just a very tough-minded team. They had some guys step up for them. (Tyrece) Radford, he’s just a really good downhill driver, he made shot after shot. David N’Guessan came off the bench and hurt us… I thought we did a really good job on (Keve) Aluma and (Jalen) Cone. I thought our team really matched the physicality of the game, and I think that’s reflected in the offensive rebounds we got, and just the overall way we played. I really liked the way my team adjusted in the second half, I was really disappointed in the first half. One of the things we preach on offense is playing off two feet and shot faking. And it’s no disrespect to Virginia Tech, but they shouldn’t have nine blocked shots in the first half. A lot of it was us just flying in there trying to score off one foot. In the second half, we went off two feet, shot faked, got them off the floor, and made plays at the basket or got fouled. We didn’t shoot free throws as well as we normally do, that probably hurt us. And we didn’t get to the ball in both halves, which is kind of surprising as physical as the game was. Late [in the game], they got an offensive rebound when we had the inside position. Aluma got it and scored. We lost (Hunter) Cattoor at the end of the shot clock, he made a three. And then we called a timeout to run a set that was going to be wide open and one of our guys didn’t execute. So those are things we’ve got to clean up moving forward. I’m proud of my team, and we’ll keep coaching them and they’ll keep playing hard.”
Wake Forest travels to North Carolina on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. tip at the Dean Smith Center that will be broadcast on ACC Network.
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