Virginia Tech upsets No. 1 Wake Forest 78-71
Published 11:26 pm Thursday, January 22, 2009
By By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM — Virginia Tech made sure there are no unbeaten teams left in Division I.
Malcolm Delaney scored 21 points and the Hokies held on to upset No. 1 Wake Forest 78-71 on Wednesday night.
A.D. Vassallo and Jeff Allen added 16 points apiece for the Hokies (12-6, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). They led nearly from the opening tip to the final buzzer, pushed their lead to 16 and made it stand up for their first victory over a No. 1 team since they beat North Carolina two seasons ago in Blacksburg.
Jeff Teague scored 23 points and James Johnson added 18 before fouling out with 1:17 remaining for Wake Forest (16-1, 3-1), which was playing as the nation's top-ranked team for the first time since November 2004.
The Demon Deacons' early 16-point deficit was by far their biggest of the season, and they trailed by 10 at halftime before they made it a game again. They used a 14-4 run early in the second half that brought them within single digits, then cut it to two twice in the final 4 minutes — the last coming when Teague's 3-pointer with 1:49 remaining made it 71-69.
But Delaney hit two free throws 7 seconds later and the Hokies allowed one field goal after that to clinch one of the biggest victories in school history.
Virginia Tech improved to 2-7 against top-ranked teams — and continued its dominance of the Demon Deacons. The Hokies have won five of their last six meetings with Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons' school-record 16-0 start is history, and its next home game — a Jan. 28 showdown with Duke — suddenly looks less appealing now that it might not be a 1-vs.-2 matchup.
L.D. Williams finished with 12 points and Al-Farouq Aminu added 10 for Wake Forest, which looked nothing like the nation's top-ranked team early on.
That's largely because the Hokies' physical defense took the Demon Deacons out of their game.
Virginia Tech erased its only lead of the half by outscoring them 23-6 over an 11-minute span, going up 30-14 on Victor Davila's layup with 4:18 remaining.
Wake Forest didn't attempt a free throw in the first half — while the Hokies were 10-for-14 from the stripe — and for a stretch of 13 minutes, Teague was the only Demon Deacon to score. The rest of his teammates were a combined 0-for-9 during that span.