Washington scored 22 as Hokies beat Wake, 80-58
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP)—Deron Washington made his last regular season game at Cassell Coliseum one of his best Tuesday night with 22 points and 13 rebounds as Virginia Tech helped its postseason resume with a 80-58 victory against Wake Forest.
Honored before the game as one of two seniors on the freshmen-laden Hokies (18-11, 9-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), Washington and fellow senior Marcus Travis played key roles in Virginia Tech’s fourth straight victory. Travis scored the game’s first basket to get the crowd into the game, and Washington and his teammates took it from there.
They led 33-13 after 13 minutes, scored a season-high 47 first-half points to lead by 21 at the half and built the lead to 62-32 with 14:36 to play before getting sloppy.
Wake Forest (16-12, 6-9) lost its fourth in a row, and may have been victims of its own previous success. On Dec. 23, the Demon Deacons erased an 8-point deficit in the final 1:21 against the Hokies and won 77-75 on a buzzer-beater by guard Ishmael Smith.
The Hokies made certain there would be no repeat in a game they needed to win.
Perhaps inspired by the pre-game ceremonies to honor Washington and Travis, Virginia Tech dominated the game from the outset. Travis scored his first career basket in ACC competition—and just the ninth and 10th points of his career— by cutting down the lane for a wide open layup, and Washington had two highlight reel dunks.
Washington’s point total was two shy of his career high, and his rebounding total was one off his best. He also had three assists, as did Travis.
A.D. Vassallo added 20 points and Jeff Allen 13 for Virginia Tech, which will play at Clemson on Sunday knowing full well that no ACC has ever failed to get an invitation to the NCAA tournament after winning 10 conference games in the regular season.
The Demon Deacons, meantime, looked like they were ready for the season to be over. They missed 15 of their first 18 shots, shot just 27.6 percent in the half and were outrebounded 27-16. Jeff Teague outscored his teammates 14-12 in the half.
Teague finished with 25 points and Chas McFarland had 10.