WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – On the road, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team scrapped past Wake 64-60 on Sunday night to earn their third straight win and improve to 5-1 in conference play for just the second time since joining the ACC in 2004.
The Hokies (11-2, 5-1 ACC) have now defeated the Demon Deacons (3-5, 0-5) for a fifth straight time and earned their fourth consecutive win in Winston-Salem. Mike Young is now 3-0 versus Wake Forest.
Three Hokies reached double-figures in scoring including guards Tyrece Radford (20 points), Hunter Cattoor (13) and forward David N’Guessan (13) which is his career-high. Tech scored 28 points off its bench which marks the eighth time this season the Hokies have had 25 or more points off the bench.
On the defensive end, Tech notched a season-high nine blocks with forward Keve Aluma recording four of those, which is his career best. The Hokies forced Wake to shoot just 36% from the field and 30% from behind the arc. Tech also caused the Demon Deacons to commit 13 turnovers and the Hokies scored 12 points off those mistakes.
It was back and forth action at the start as both the Hokies and the Demon Deacons traded baskets. With just over 12 minutes to go in the first half sophomore Cattoor hit a triple and freshman N’Guessan scored six straight points to cap off a 9-0 run and put Tech up 17-9.
Down the stretch of the first forward Aluma scored four consecutive points and the Hokies controlled the rest of the half with pace and key defensive stops. Tech went into the break with a 29-23 lead.
Radford came out in the second half and finished an and-1 to kick things off for the Hokies and put them up 32-23. Midway through the second half Wake would fight back into the contest with a 12-2 run which tied the outing at 44-44 with just over eight minutes to go in the game.
With just over four minutes left, Cattoor hit from downtown to extend the Hokies lead to 54-49 and give Tech a cushion late in the contest. Clutch free throws down the stretch put the Demon Deacons away and carried Tech to a 64-60 victory.
QUOTING MIKE YOUNG
On if he saw a great performance from N’Guessan coming:
“I’ve seen him coming,” Tech coach Mike Young said. “I see him coming daily. He had six points and I think he had two ‘and-ones’ in the first half.“He had nice minutes in the second half and nice contributions. He defends. He’s smart. Tyrece [Radford] was terrific, yet again. Hunter Cattoor really picked up our wagon [when] we were up two with the ball and he hit a big shot off a play that Naheim [Alleyne] gave him with a great screen from Keve [Aluma]. It is a true team and they don’t care who gets the credit and that is a fun group to be a part of.”
– Radford had a team-high 20 points which marks the second time this season he has hit the 20 points mark and the fourth time this season he has led Tech in scoring.
– Cattoor nailed three triples against Wake which is the third time this season he has made three or more 3-pointers.
– As a team, the Hokies hit 16 free throws and have have now made 15 or more free throws in seven contests this season.
– N’Guessan notched his career high in points with 13 but also went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field which marks his career best in field goals made.
The Hokies will host Boston College in Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. ET with coverage available through the ACC Network.