In need of a pick-me-up after Thursday’s loss to North Carolina, the Hokies’ wishes were answered in form of the lifeless Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Tech took the lead with 13 minutes to go in the first half and never looked back, demolishing the Deacs 94-65 to improve to 11-5 overall and 2-2 in the ACC.
Not even a 7-0 run for Wake Forest to start the night could hold the Hokies back, who responded with a 17-2 run to seize control. The Hokies would add an 11-0 run later in the half for good measure. After missing its first five shots of the night, Tech connected on 17 of its final 27 shots in the first half en route to a 44-24 halftime advantage.
Things would only get worse for the Deacons in the second half, as Tech stretched its lead to as many as 31 points. Remember, this is an ACC opponent. Not North Carolina Central or UMBC. This is Wake Forest, a team that was No. 1 two years ago. Coincidentally, the Hokies knocked off the Deacs when they were No. 1 that year.
The best way to summarize this game was that Tech’s three walk-on’s, Paul Debnam, Prince Parker, and Andrew Griffin, played a combined eight minutes and scored six points. Yes, Paul Debnam scored four points and a walk-on football player (Parker) made a bucket. That just shouldn’t happen against an ACC team.
Here’s the obligatory Paul Debnam highlight:
On a more serious note, six Hokies finished in double figures and, suprisingly, Malcolm Delaney was not one of them. The real story was the Tech bench, which scored 39 points! Manny Atkins carried over his hot shooting form the UNC game, scoring a career-high 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Freshman Jarell Eddie also added a career-high 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting. Terrell Bell has 12, while Jeff Allen and Erick Green each added 12.
Victor Davila also had an offensive explosion for Tech, who shot a season-high 58.6 percent. Davila dropped in 14 on 6-of-8 shooting, including four dunks, most of which resembled this one:
In the grand scheme of things, the Hokies came out Saturday and did what they needed to do by taking care of the dreadful Deacons. With their ACC record now even, Tech now enters a string of four out of five ACC games on the road sandwiched around a non-conference game with Longwood. The crucial stretch starts next Thursday at Maryland. Tip-off is slated for 9 p.m. on ESPN2.