- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 10, 2018

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Virginia Tech seems to have found its offensive flow again.

Ahmed Hill scored 21 points while Justin Robinson came up with three critical baskets late to help Virginia Tech hold off Wake Forest 83-75 on Wednesday night, helping the Hokies even their Atlantic Coast Conference record after an 0-2 start.

Virginia Tech (13-4, 2-2) had managed just 56 points in a loss at Syracuse and 52 points in a home loss to No. 3 Virginia while shooting a combined 35 percent. Then the Hokies had scored 81 points in a weekend win against Pittsburgh, though they didn’t shoot well from behind the arc.

This time, they shot the ball well from just about everywhere.

“We’re not very good defensively, but offensively when we’re sharing and making shots, it looks good,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “I think our guys have confidence in what we’re doing offensively. … I thought this is more like the way we’d like to play.”

Virginia Tech made 17 of 27 shots (63 percent) in the first half and finished the game at 51 percent. The Hokies also hit 12 3-pointers, their best output from behind the arc in a month, and had 20 assists on 29 baskets.

“Confidence is always there,” said Hill, who made 5 of 10 3-pointers. “We practice those shots every day. Once it started happening, it’s just a very comfortable shot we shoot every day. We know they can go in.”

The Hokies led by 15 at halftime and by 17 midway through the second half, then turned away several pushes by the Demon Deacons (8-8, 1-3) down the stretch.

“I thought we handled their runs with the highest level of maturity we have shown thus far this season,” Williams said.

Brandon Childress scored 17 points for the Demon Deacons, who shot 51 percent after halftime. They twice got within four in the final 5 minutes but no closer.

“We got down early,” said Keyshawn Woods, who scored 12 points in his return from a one-game absence due to a knee injury. “We let them score 45 points in the first half. You let any team score 45 points in league play and be down like that, of course it’s going to be a tough grind to come back.”


Virginia Tech: The Hokies were the aggressor early, leading 45-30 at halftime and 61-44 with 11:42 left. The 3-point shooting in particular was a positive; the Hokies had made just 25 of 102 3s (24.5 percent) over the past five games - including just 4 of 23 in the Pitt win - after making nearly 47 percent through their first 11 games. They made 12 of 28 against the Demon Deacons (43 percent).

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons struggled to dig out of a hole that began from the opening tip. Childress got going in the second half to provide a spark, but Wake Forest never could string together enough stops at critical moments to complete its climb back.


Robinson had just one basket before his flurry in the final 2 minutes. One was a stickback while being fouled for a 3-point play, another was a driving layup and a third came when he beat Childress to a long inbounds pass for a score.

Robinson also had a 4-for-4 showing at the line in the final 32.3 seconds, finishing with 13 points.

“It just came to me,” Robinson said. “My teammates trusted in me and that’s what I love them for. I just think everything fell into place.”


Virginia Tech: The Hokies visit Louisville on Saturday.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons visit No. 7 Duke on Saturday seeking their first win at Cameron Indoor Stadium since January 1997 during Tim Duncan’s senior season.


More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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