BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech point guard Devin Wilson scored a career-high 26 points, but the Hokies got off to a slow start and couldn’t catch up, falling to Wake Forest 83-77 in an ACC game played Wednesday night at Cassell Coliseum.
The loss marked the Hokies’ fifth straight and sent them to 8-10 overall on the season, 1-5 in the ACC. Wake Forest moved to 13-6 overall, 3-3 in ACC play.
Behind Travis McKie, Wake Forest got off to a sizzling start, shooting 54.8 percent from the floor in the first half (17 of 31) and making 7 of its 10 3-point attempts. The Demon Deacons made eight straight baskets at one stretch, and they took what turned out to be their biggest lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Miles Overton with 4:15 left in the half that gave them a 40-19 edge. McKie scored 15 first-half points, and Wake Forest led 42-27 at halftime.
“We made some mistakes, especially in the first half,” Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. “We made some defensive mistakes. We’re not built to come back from a 20-point deficit. We’re not built to do that. We’re not deep. We’re not shooting the ball well. We’re just not built to do that.
“So we’ve got to learn from that. This team still has fight, or else they wouldn’t play the way they did in the second half the past two games [Wake Forest and Notre Dame]. But we can’t wait until the second half. We’ve got to find a way to come out ready to play.”
The Hokies tried to make a game of it in the final five minutes, as Wilson scored 17 of his career-high 26 in the final 5:35. He scored the Hokies’ final 10 points of the game.
But Wilson missed two free throws with 3:37 left, and Miller-McIntyre scored with 3:15 to go to give the Demon Deacons a 71-60 lead. The Hokies’ Jarell Eddie then cut the lead to 71-63 on a 3-pointer with 2:55 remaining.
But Miller-McIntyre answered again. He hit the first of two free throws and grabbed the rebound after missing the second one. He then scored with 2:10 remaining to give Wake Forest a 74-63 lead, and Virginia Tech got no closer than the final margin.
Wake Forest came into the game shooting 44.3 percent from the floor and 31.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. But the Demon Deacons tied a season high with nine 3-pointers and shot 53.6 percent (30 of 56) from the floor for the game.
The Hokies missed their first 11 shots from the floor and shot just 33.8 percent (22 of 65) for the game.
Wilson made 6 of 10 from the floor, including 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also hit 11 of 14 from the free-throw line.
Eddie finished with 20 points for the Hokies, and Trevor Thompson had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Charlottesville, Va., for a game against Virginia. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m.
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