Jalen Hudson drives Virginia Tech past Wake Forest in ACC Tournament thriller, 81-80

storylogo2Jalen Hudson scored 32 points off the bench, the last two on a drive with 12 seconds left, and Virginia Tech survived a flurry of Wake Forest shots in the final 6.1 seconds to hold on to an 81-80 win in the first round of the 2015 ACC Tournament.

The Hokies (11-21, 3-16 ACC) led by 11 early in the second half, but a 17-2 Wake run gave the Demon Deacons (13-19, 5-14 ACC) a 53-49 lead at the 12:09 mark. A Cody Miller-McIntyre and-one with 7:09 to go extended the Wake Forest lead to five at 65-60, but then it became Jalen Hudson time.

Hudson scored 12 of Tech’s last 15 points in the final 4:24, getting into the lane and to the line. The other points in that stretch came on an Adam Smith three with 2:32 to go that gave the Hokies a 75-72 lead.

A pair of Hudson free throws made it 79-74 Tech with 1:03 left, but Wake was not done. Cornelius Hudson hit a three with 56 seconds left to cut the margin to two, and then after Jalen Hudson was called for an offensive foul with 36 seconds left to give the ball back to the Deacs, Dinos Mitiglou hit a three from the right wing with 25 seconds to go to give Wake an 80-79 lead.

Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams called timeout to set up a play for Hudson, who split two defenders from the right wing for a driving layup at the 12-second mark to put the Hokies back in front.

Wake attacked after the made basket, and after a loose ball went out of bounds in front of the Deacon bench with 6.1 seconds left, and a lengthy review that confirmed the original call giving possession to Wake Forest, the Deacs had the ball for a last shot.

They got three – a 15-footer from the left baseline from Mitiglou that nicked the rim long, a stickback from the right block by Devin Thomas that skimmed the rim and bounded out, and a final shot at the buzzer by Miller-McIntyre that also missed.

Miller-McIntyre led Wake with 23 points and 11 assists, and Thomas contributed 22 points and nine rebounds.

Ahmed Hill had 10 points in a supporting role for Virginia Tech, which shot 48.4 percent from the field (30-of-62) and 42.1 percent from three-point range (8-of-19).

Tech was 13-of-14 from the foul line, with Hudson a perfect 10-for-10.

Wake Forest shot 46.0 percent from the field (29-of-63) and 37.5 percent from three (9-of-24).

Virginia Tech advances to the second round of the tournament, and will play #6 seed Miami on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

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