BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP)—A.D. Vassallo scored 14 points and made three big plays in a 13-2 run Sunday night and Virginia Tech rallied to beat Wake Forest 63-60.
The Hokies (7-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed throughout until Vassallo hit a floater in the lane with 12:38 left to give them a 38-37 lead. After a basket by Wake Forest, his steal was scooped up by Jamon Gordon, who took it in for a dunk. Vassallo later made a 15-foot jumper when the Demon Deacons (5-4, 0-1) tried to rally.
Vassallo, playing extensive second-half minutes after regular guard Jamon Gordon suffered a knee injury, also hit a pair of free throws with 24.9 seconds left, after the Demon Deacons had closed to 57-55. The shots sparked a wild flurry at the end.
Jamie Skeen hit one free throw for Wake Forest, and Deron Washington hit a pair for the Hokies. Shamaine Dukes scored on a drive, pulling the Demon Deacons to 61-58.
When Markus Sailes hit 1 of 2 free throws for Virginia Tech and Dukes scored again, it was 62-60 with 1.6 seconds left. Zabian Dowdell made 1 of 2 at the line for the Hokies, and Wake’s length-of-the-court pass went out off the Hokies, giving Wake Forest seven-tenths of a second to get off a tying 3-pointer. They did, but Skeen’s try from about 25 feet on the left wing was well off line and the wild finish was complete.
Dowdell also had 14 and Gordon 13 for the Hokies, who won their third straight.
Kyle Visser led Wake Forest with 18 points and nine rebounds. Skeen scored 13.
With Visser scoring six, the Demon Deacons used a 10-5 run to get within 50-49 with 5:08 left, but Virginia Tech scored the next six, making 4 of 6 free throws.
Wake came back one more time, but the Hokies had just enough to hold on. The Demon Deacon hurt themselves at the line, missing 11 of 25; Virginia Tech was 20-for-32.
The Hokies trailed all the way before going on the run to take a 45-39 lead.
Lewis Witcher scored inside and Cheick Diakite followed a turnover by the Demon Deacons with a dunk, bringing the Hokies within 37-36. After a miss by Wake Forest, A.D. Vassallo hit a floater in the lane. After Antony Gurley’s reverse layup gave Wake a 39-38 lead, Vassallo made a steal that Jamon Gordon took in for a dunk.
When Dowdell added two free throws and Deron Washington made a wide-open 3-pointer from just right of the key, the Hokies led 45-39 and had nine minutes to hang on.