BLACKSBURG — The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team on Saturday bounced back from a “spanking.”

The ninth-ranked Hokies led the entire second half en route to an 87-71 ACC win over Wake Forest at Cassell Coliseum.

Virginia Tech (15-2, 4-1) was coming off an 81-59 thrashing at No. 4 Virginia on Tuesday. So the Hokies were determined to play better defensively against the Demon Deacons.

“After the spanking we got at Virginia, that’s all we focused on both days in practice, was stopping them on defense, hoping it helped our offense,” said Tech guard Ty Outlaw, who had 14 points and four 3-pointers off the bench Saturday.

“After a loss like that, it can be really demoralizing. And we just wanted to prove that hey, that’s one game, it’s in the past, we’re moving on.”

The Hokies trailed U.Va. 44-22 at halftime Tuesday. But they led Wake 42-32 at halftime Saturday.

“The University of Virginia, they beat our brains in from start to finish in every possible way on both ends of the floor,” Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “But the response of our staff and our team, … it speaks to their character. It speaks to their work ethic.”

What did Tech do better on Saturday?

“We got beat really bad from start to finish [Tuesday], so categorically we did everything better,” Williams said.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 24 points for the Hokies, who had five players score in double figures.

“It was fun. You feel it clicking,” Alexander-Walker said. “Everyone was just flowing together. We were all playing our game, staying in our lane.”

After shooting worse than 47 percent from the field in each of its previous three games, Virginia Tech shot 56.9 percent from the field Saturday. Tech scored 30 points in the paint and had 15 fast break points.

The Hokies were 11 of 26 from 3-point range (42.3 percent). They had shot worse than 34 percent from 3-point range and had made fewer than eight 3-pointers in each of the previous three games.

The Demon Deacons (8-9, 1-4) shot just 37.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range.

“We focused on stopping them from driving,” Outlaw said.

“When they drove gaps, we focused on being there and forcing them to kick out and shoot long, contested 3s.”

The Demon Deacons scored only 14 points in the paint.

“Some of the shots, we needed to go stronger and then finish with a little more conviction at the rim,” Wake coach Danny Manning said.

Wake, which was coming off a home win over No. 17 North Carolina State, committed 16 turnovers Saturday.

“Against N.C. State, we handled their pressure a lot better than we handled the pressure today,” Manning said.

Wake was 27 of 38 from the free throw line in the foul-plagued game, while Tech was 18 of 22. Referee Mike Eades left the game early in the first half with a knee injury, leaving just two referees on the floor the rest of the game.

Williams was more animated on the sideline than he had been in most games this season.

“I didn’t think there was any flow to the game once the third official left,” Williams said. “I thought the best way I could help our team was to maybe give more energy than normal.”

Wake guard Brandon Childress had 28 points. Wake center Ikenna Smart missed the game with a back injury.

With the game tied at 17, the Hokies went on a 9-1 run to build a 26-18 lead with 8:18 left in the first half. Tech led the rest of the way.

FG FT Reb

WAKE M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Hoard 36 1-3 5-6 4-7 1 0 7

Sarr 18 2-2 3-3 3-6 1 4 7

Brown 33 3-10 0-0 2-4 3 1 6

Childress 40 7-12 9-11 0-2 2 3 28

Wright 26 1-3 1-4 1-4 1 4 3

Mucius 24 2-12 2-4 2-5 0 1 8

Johnson 13 2-5 2-4 0-2 0 1 7

Wynn 10 0-1 5-6 0-0 0 4 5

Totals 200 18-48 27-38 12-30 8 18 71

Percentages: FG .375, FT .711. 3-Point Goals: 8-24, .333 (Childress 5-9, Mucius 2-7, Johnson 1-2, Hoard 0-1, Wright 0-1, Wynn 0-1, Brown 0-3). Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 14 (10 PTS). Blocked Shots: 0. Turnovers: 14 (Wright 5, Childress 4, Hoard 2, Johnson, Mucius, Sarr). Steals: 3 (Childress 2, Hoard).

FG FT Reb

VA. TECH M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Blackshear 37 4-7 2-3 1-4 1 3 11

Horne 11 1-2 0-0 1-1 0 2 2

A.-Walker 34 7-12 7-9 1-7 4 4 24

Hill 31 4-8 3-4 0-3 0 4 12

Robinson 26 5-10 2-2 0-2 3 4 13

Bede 26 1-1 2-2 0-1 5 3 5

Outlaw 23 4-6 2-2 1-3 1 3 14

Wilkins 11 3-5 0-0 0-1 1 1 6

Kabongo 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 29-51 18-22 4-22 15 24 87

Percentages: FG .569, FT .818. 3-Point Goals: 11-26, .423 (Outlaw 4-5, Alexander-Walker 3-7, Bede 1-1, Blackshear 1-3, Hill 1-4, Robinson 1-4, Wilkins 0-2). Team Rebounds: 1. Team Turnovers: 11 (15 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Blackshear 4). Turnovers: 11 (Robinson 5, Alexander-Walker 2, Bede, Blackshear, Hill, Wilkins). Steals: 8 (Outlaw 2, Robinson 2, Wilkins 2, Alexander-Walker, Horne).

Wake Forest 32 39 — 71

Virginia Tech 42 45 — 87

A–9,275 (10,052).

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