BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Malcolm Delaney scored 10 of his 31 points in the decisive final seven minutes Tuesday night and Virginia Tech rallied past No. 23 Wake Forest 87-83.
The Hokies (21-4, 8-3) remained unbeaten in 14 home games this season, moved into second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference and got the kind of victory they sorely need down the stretch to help offset one of the nation's weakest nonconference schedules.
Wake Forest (18-6, 8-4), which moved into the Top 25 for the first time this week, led most of the game until a 15-4 run by the Hokies pulled them even with 8:30 to play.
Then Delaney got hot and the Hokies held on for their fifth consecutive victory.
Dorenzo Hudson added 21 points and J.T. Thompson had 16 for Virginia Tech.
The Hokies took their first lead since very early in the game on Delaney's 3-pointer that made it 70-69 with 6:43 left. The teams traded the lead twice before Delaney put Tech up with a drive, then followed a miss by Wake Forest with a 3-pointer that made it 78-74. After another miss by the Demon Deacons, Thompson's two free throws gave the Hokies a six-point lead.
Smith scored seven points in final 44.5 seconds for Wake Forest, but the Hokies made 3 of 6 free throws — just enough to never let the Demon Deacons closer than three points.
The Hokies play at league-leading and sixth-ranked Duke (21-4, 9-2) on Sunday with the Blue Devils holding a half-game lead.
Trailing 61-50, the Hokies used a 15-4 run to pull even. Hudson scored eight in the spree, including a highlight-reel dunk after a block by Cadarian Raines, and Delaney had a three-point play with 8:54 left that was the fifth foul for Demon Deacons 7-footer Chas McFarland.
The Demon Deacons took a 53-42 lead with 16 minutes to play, and the teams traded baskets for the next 4 minutes, with Thompson scoring eight straight points for the Hokies and Wake Forest getting points from four players, the last two Aminu's first of the half.
Aminu scored 14 of his 21 first-half points during a 21-11 run for the Demon Deacons over a span of 7½ minutes. The spurt gave Wake Forest a 32-23 lead, their largest of the half.