The Virginia Tech Hokies (9-4, 1-1) began full-blown ACC play on Saturday with a trip to Winston-Salem to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (9-3, 1-1). Virginia Tech entered Saturday on a four-game winning streak and 1-0 in ACC play. The Deacons entered Saturday 8-3 but had to play an ACC opponent.
Wake certainly looked ready for VT, completely dismantling the Hokies in an 86-63 win.
Junior guard Hunter Sallis, a Gonzaga transfer, led all scorers with 20 points. The 6-foot-5 Sallis is continuing his excellent first season for the Deacs, averaging 18 points per game after averaging just over four points per game in each of his two seasons with Gonzaga. He also led the Demon Deacons with nine rebounds.
Wake came out hot against the Hokies, and every time it looked like Tech may get close, the Demon Deacons went on a run. Wake Forest finished the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 20-point lead into intermission.
It was another tough day offensively for junior point guard Sean Pedulla. Pedulla made just one of seven shots from the field in the first half, including missing all three attempts from 3-point range, and turned the ball over five times — in the first 20 minutes.
Pedulla’s struggles continued in the second half, and he finished the game with five points and six turnovers. Pedulla has been battling a foot injury since the Louisville win earlier this month, which cost him two games.
The Hokies fought back in the second half, but Wake’s hot start proved too much. All five Wake Forest starters scored in double figures, and the Deacs shot over 50% from the field in the first half. Virginia Tech was much better overall in the second half, but it proved to be too little, too late.
Hunter Cattoor and Lynn Kidd led the Hokies with 14 points each. As a team, VT shot 46% from the floor, which was impressive considering it was such an ugly start in the first half.
Virginia Tech gets another week off before heading to Tallahassee to face Florida State next Saturday.