|1:00 PM PT2:00 PM MT3:00 PM CT4:00 PM ET9:00 PM GMT5:00 PM 北京时间2:00 PM MST4:00 PM EST, Jan 19, 2019
Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Virginia Attendance: 9,275
No. 9 Virginia Tech aims to rebound at home vs. Wake Forest
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Although Virginia Tech came up short when it traveled up Interstate-81 to Charlottesville earlier this week, the ninth-ranked Hokies might find themselves to be more in their element on Saturday when they host Wake Forest in an Atlantic Coast Conference clash.
Virginia Tech (14-2, 3-1), after all, will be comforted by being at home, where it owns a perfect 9-0 mark. The Demon Deacons (8-8, 1-3), on the other hand, are 0-4 when designated as the road team this season.
The Hokies are licking their wounds after seeing their nine-game winning streak snapped in an 81-59 setback to fourth-ranked Virginia on Tuesday. Virginia Tech's bid for its first 15-1 start in program history went up in smoke during the early going of the 148th edition of the Commonwealth Clash, as the Cavaliers quickly established a double-digit lead and didn't look back.
"We were just behind -- behind on ball pressure, behind on rotation, behind on stunts," Hokies coach Buzz Williams said. "And with space, categorically, their whole team can make shots."
The same can be said for Virginia Tech, just not in its last two outings. The Hokies survived an 18.5-percent performance from 3-point range to post a 52-49 road win over Georgia Tech only to make two of their first nine attempts from beyond the arc in the first half against Virginia.
Sophomore guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (17.9 points per game, 4.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists) and senior guard Ahmed Hill improved their season averages by scoring 19 and 14 points, respectively, against the Cavaliers.
Hill flustered Wake Forest last season, shooting 5 of 10 from 3-point range to highlight a 21-point performance as Virginia Tech posted an 83-75 win on Jan. 10, 2018. The Hokies made 17 of 27 shots in the first half and finished the contest at 51 percent from the field while going 12 of 28 from 3-point range.
Virginia Tech will face a motivated opponent in Wake Forest, which snapped a three-game skid and posted its second win in seven outings with a 71-67 victory against North Carolina State on Tuesday.
The contest was Wake Forest's first of three straight versus ranked opponents, with a road date against Virginia slated for next Tuesday. Coach Danny Manning hasn't fared well versus ranked teams, as he owns a 2-34 mark in his career at Wake Forest in that scenario.
While the Hokies found themselves behind the 8-ball early, the Demon Deacons built a big lead before the Wolfpack benefited from a 15-0 run to ultimately knot the contest late in the second half. Undaunted, Wake Forest showed resolve and pulled off the upset.
"For our guys to be able to bow their neck down the stretch when N.C. State went on their run, to find ways to give us a chance to win the game, I thought some of our younger guys took a step," Manning said.
Junior guard Brandon Childress agreed.
"It just shows we fought through adversity," said Childress (team-best 16.1 points per game), who finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
"When they came back, we didn't point fingers. ... We kept moving the ball. We trusted each other. We ran the offense. We stayed locked in defensively and fought through."
Childress had a team-leading 17 points for Wake Forest in last year's encounter with Virginia Tech.
Freshman forward Jaylen Hoard answered an 8-for-23 performance from the field in his previous two games with his fourth double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) of the season versus N.C. State.
Sophomore guard Chaundee Brown struggled after posting a career-high 22-point performance on 9-of-15 shooting in a 76-65 setback at Miami on Saturday. He shot just 2 of 8 from the field and finished with eight points versus the Wolfpack.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 17, 2019