BLACKSBURG (HokieSports.com) – On senior night, the No. 16/15 Virginia Tech men's basketball team rolled to an 84-46 win over Wake Forest on Saturday inside Cassell Coliseum. Tech bounces back from Tuesday's loss to Georgia Tech and sweeps the season series against Wake.
The Hokies improve to 15-5 overall and 9-4 in the ACC. The Demon Deacons drop their fifth straight to fall to 6-13 on the season and 3-13 in conference. Tech is now a flawless 5-0 coming off a loss this season.
Three Hokies reached double figures in scoring including, forward Keve Aluma (23 points) and guards Tyrece Radford (15) and Nahiem Alleyne (13). Tech shot a staggering 53% from the field which is one of the best shooting performances against an ACC opponent in Tech history. From the three, the Hokies shot even better shooting 54% from behind the arc with a total of 13 3-pointers.
On the defensive end, the Hokies forced Wake to commit 18 turnovers and Tech registered 26 points off those mistakes. Tech's defense caused Wake to shoot just 27% from the field and 31% from three which resulted in the lowest point total an opponent has recorded against the Hokies this season with 46.
Aluma came out of the gate on fire as he scored eight of the Hokies' first 10 points which helped put Tech up 10-3 early in the first. Forward Cordell Pemsl and Radford each added buckets to extend their lead to 14-3. Looking to keep momentum with under 10 minutes to go, red hot Radford drilled back-to-back triples to balloon the Hokies lead to 31-17.
With time ticking away in the first half, the Hokies did not let up and went on a 10-0 run to put them up 45-22. To conclude the Hokies' highest-scoring first half this season freshman Joe Bamisile slammed it home at the buzzer to put Tech up 49-22.
Coming out of the break, the Hokies were full steam ahead as Tech jumped off to an 11-1 run to go up 60-23. With just under four minutes to go, senior Wabissa Bede nailed a 3-pointer followed by a triple from Bamisile to give Tech its largest lead at 82-39. Tech closed the contest out and defeated Wake 84-46.
QUOTING MIKE YOUNG
On bouncing back after the loss Tuesday:
"A short memory. Winning is the same thing now, we wipe the slate clean," Tech coach Mike Young said. "Tomorrow is a new day, we have not lost two in a row. I think that is the mark of a good team. Just so thankful, that we were able to get Tuesday night's performance (I take nothing away from Georgia Tech, I saw them play some today and they were really good again today) but we didn't play very well, but they had that bounce back in our step and we connected defensively and we played with a sense of urgency that I've come to expect around here from this team. It was certainly encouraging to watch."
"I've said and I mean this, this is not fluff," Tech coach Mike Young said. "I think Wabissa is the most important person that I've had in my brief period. I had recruiting, there were no guarantees he was going to stay, he didn't owe me anything. We hung in there and we went up and saw his beautiful mom and it worked out. He is an unbelievable teammate, he loves Virginia Tech. He is an easy person to play with, an easy person to coach, he is a lot of really good things. His ability in the backcourt as a point guard, to get us into our stuff and not turn it over, he's gonna get the ball stopped. He is a really good defender 1 on 1, he does a lot for us. Cordell is what you hope to get from a graduate transfer, he was a part of a winning program at Iowa, he's a good basketball player. He got nicked up, had a bad back for an extended period, but hung in there, he feels good. I told him during the timeout he was bouncing around like a 17-year-old and he helped us win today, he's going to help us win as we move along and I'm happy he's here.
- Aluma had 23 points and led the team in scoring for the eighth time this season. Aluma also reached the 20 point mark for the fifth time this year.
- Mike Young is now 8-3 versus the Demon Deacons' head coach Steve Forbes and recorded his fifth straight victory over Forbes.
- Bede dished out five assists which gives him 22 total over his last five outings.
- As a team, the Hokies hit 13 triples which are the second most Tech has nailed all season.
The Hokies will play their third straight home outing against Louisville on March 3 at 7 p.m. ET with coverage available through ESPN2.