Atkins leads Virginia Tech over Wake Forest 94-65

Manny Atkins scored a career-high 16 points and Virginia Tech took command early and never let up in a 94-65 victory against Wake Forest on Saturday night.

Victor Davila added 14 points and Jarell Eddie 12 for the Hokies (11-5, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who bounced back after squandering a 16-point lead in a loss Thursday night at North Carolina.

The victory was the seventh in eight games for Virginia Tech.

Gary Clark scored 16 points to lead Wake Forest (7-11, 0-3), which lost for the seventh time in its last eight games. The Demon Deacons have lost league games to North Carolina State by 21, Maryland by 19 and now the Hokies by 29, an average margin of 23 points.

Six Hokies scored in double figures as Terrell Bell added 12 points and Jeff Allen and Erick Green had 10 apiece. Malcolm Delaney had nine with nine assists for Virginia Tech.

C.J. Harris and Travis McKie added 15 points each for the Demon Deacons.

Briefly, it looked like it might be a good night for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons held Virginia Tech scoreless for the first 3:18 and led 7-0. But the lead didn't last long.

A 17-2 run gave the Hokies a 17-9 lead. It was 38-18 after Virginia Tech hit four 3-pointers in a span of 3½ minutes.

Atkins had two 3s and Eddie and Terrell Bell one each in the burst.

A fast break dunk by Davila gave Virginia Tech a 44-24 lead at the break, and the Hokies had already made seven 3-pointers while the Demon Deacons only had eight field goals.

An 8-2 run to start the second half made it 52-26, and any suspense was over.

The late stages of the game were played with Hokies regulars Malcolm Delaney, Allen and Bell watching as Eddie, Tyrone Garland and Atkins played extensively. The three will be counted on the rest of the season because the Hokies have lost four players that figured prominently in their plans for the season, leaving them with eight scholarship players.

The crowd also began chanting for coach Seth Greenberg to bring in seldom-used reserve Paul Debnam with about 6 minutes to go; Greenberg obliged to cheers with 3:37 to play, and Debnam was cheered like a hero when he fouled Virginia native McKie 12 seconds later.

Cassell Coliseum got really loud when he scored two baskets in the final minute.