Strong start propels Virginia Tech past Wake Forest

The Hokies had dropped their first two ACC games, struggling on offense in losses to Syracuse and Virginia.

So what boxes did the Hokies check on Wednesday in Winston-Salem?

Virginia Tech was led by a three-headed monster in Ahmed Hill, Justin Bibbs and Chris Clarke.

Robinson entered the day leading the ACC in scoring in conference play, averaging 27.0 points per game.

Childress scored 17 points for the Demon Deacons (8-8, 1-3), who shot 51 percent after halftime but couldn't complete their comeback. "We let them score 45 points in the first half".

BC used a 12-2 spree late in the half to go up 35-30 before Wake Forest scored the final five points. Individually, Hill scored 21, Bibbs had 18 and Clarke added 14.

Tech shot 50 percent from 3-point range (7 of 14) in the half to Wake's 25 percent. Heading into the contest, the Hokies were 28-of-112 (25%) from the outside since the second half of the Kentucky game.

For the first time since the first half versus the University of Kentucky on December 16, Virginia Tech looked like the dominant team tonight. The Demon Deacons, however, chipped away at that margin. The 3-point shooting in particular was a positive; the Hokies had made just 25 of 102 3s (24.5 percent) over the past five games - including just 4 of 23 in the Pitt win - after making almost 47 percent through their first 11 games.

The Hokies led 45-30 at halftime.

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Ahmed Hill scored 21 points for Tech. He didn't score in the game's last 17 minutes.

"We got down early", said Keyshawn Woods, who scored 12 points in his return from a one-game absence due to a knee injury. That was the end of a long 16-8 run that spanned almost seven minutes, and it gave the home team life at the end of the game.

A put-back and ensuing free throw by Justin Robinson provided the Hokies with a 73-66 lead with just under two minutes remaining. Then Robinson scored again on a breakaway layup to make the score 75-66 with 1:06 remaining.

In all, Robinson had 11 points in the last 1:54 of the game, including 5-of-5 from the free throw line. With less than five minutes left, one Wake Forest possession saw Bryant Crawford and Mitchell Wilbekin miss 3s that would've brought the Deacons within one. It was not a flawless game for Tech by any standard, but it does represent Wake's largest margin of defeat in ACC play this season.

Boston College's plan is to rely heavily on the play of their talented guards Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman.

More importantly, it's a road win for the Hokies, which was much needed before they begin to run a gauntlet of very hard games coming up: at Louisville, vs. Florida State, vs.

Points in the paint were controlled by Wake Forest, with 36 points, compared to Virginia Tech's 30.

One alarming note for Virginia Tech over the last few games is that Buzz Williams' bench has shortened quite a bit. Here is how the minutes broke down on Wednesday night... Once it started happening, it's just a very comfortable shot we shoot every day.

Wake Forest wasn't as effective in turning points into turnovers - 13 points from turnovers, compared to Virginia Tech's 20. Tipoff is scheduled for 4pm, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.

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