BLACKSBURG, Va. — Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 24 points and No. 9 Virginia Tech used a 14-4 first-half run to pull away from Wake Forest in an 87-71 victory Saturday.
Ty Outlaw added 14 points and Ahmed Hill 12 for the Hokies (15-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Outlaw, Hill and Justin Robinson each made a 3-pointer during the burst, which turned a 17-all tie into a 31-21 lead with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Demon Deacons didn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way.
Brandon Childress scored 18 of his 28 points in the second half for Wake Forest (8-9, 1-4). Childress was 7 of 12 from the field and the rest of the team was 11 of 36. Wake Forest lost despite a 38-22 edge in free-throw attempts.
The Hokies’ lead was 53-44 early in the second half when Outlaw sparked an 11-0 run with a 3-pointer. Alexander-Walker and Outlaw added 3s in the burst, giving the Hokies a 64-44 lead with just over 12 minutes left.
Virginia Tech was whistled for 24 fouls to the Demon Deacons’ 18.
Most of the game was officiated by Clarence Armstrong and Jerry Heater because Mike Eades left the floor early with an apparent knee injury.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons’ youth appeared to drag them down in the first half. Childress had the hot hand early, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws in the first 7 1/2 minutes, but Childress didn’t get another field goal attempt until just 1:26 remained in the half. He was fouled and made both shots, giving him a team-high 10 points in the half, but on just two official field goal attempts.
Virginia Tech: Coach Buzz Williams was super-charged for this one. He discarded his jacket early in the first half and spent much of the half doing a defensive slide up and down the sideline instructing his team on defense. It didn’t help that the officials whistled the Hokies for 11 personal fouls to just five for Wake Forest.