WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) C.J. Harris hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute, including the go-ahead shot with 16.9 seconds left, to help Wake Forest hold off Virginia Tech 58-55 on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
The Demon Deacons' leading scorer had made just one basket all afternoon before coming up with those huge baskets, the second snapping a 55-all tie to prevent a winnable game from slipping away in painful fashion. Wake Forest (10-5, 1-0) had led by 13 midway through the first half, by eight at the break and by seven with about 7 minutes left before fighting off a late push from the Hokies (11-4, 0-1).
Harris finished with 13 points for Wake Forest, while Erick Green scored 19 points to lead Virginia Tech.
The Hokies took their first lead of the game at 53-52 when Jarell Eddie knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:18 left. But Harris answered seconds later, faking a pass to the left corner to buy some space and then burying the 3 for the 55-53 lead with a minute left.
Green answered with a jumper with 45.1 seconds left, but Harris came through again by rounding a screen from Carson Desrosiers and burying another 3 to make it 58-55. This time that lead held up, though not until after Robert Brown missed a hurried long 3 on the Hokies' final possession. Travis McKie grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 0.2 seconds left, essentially sealing the victory.
The Hokies dominated both of last season's meetings against a Wake Forest team that went 1-15 in ACC play. First they shot 59 percent and won by 29 points in Blacksburg. Then they shot 60 percent and won by 14 here in Winston-Salem. They also outrebounded the Demon Deacons by 19 in the two meetings.
Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik was critical of his team's rebounding effort after a home loss to Wofford earlier this week. His players responded by taking a 42-31 rebounding advantage, with McKie grabbing 15 boards to lead a surprisingly tough effort that helped turn the Hokies away much of the afternoon.