Thursday, March 1, 2012

Virginia Tech: defeat with honor against Wake Forest in ACC tourney

Wake Forest 80, Virginia Tech 74: Give Tech a A for effort in this one. In fact, make it an A-plus, as the undermanned Hokies made shots and hustled and competed throughout one of their best performances of the season. Monet Tellier scored 23 points - the most ever by a Virginia Tech player in an ACC Tournament game - and Aerial Wilson poured in 20 for the Hokies (7-23), who made big shots all night to stay within range and cut a 15-point deficit to four with 30 seconds left. "I couldn't be more proud of a group of kids," Virginia Tech coach Dennis Wolff said. "They literally played until the very last possession of the season, so I think that bodes well for their character and how we are going to try to run the program going forward."

Ultimately, though, a Tech team with no seniors and just seven scholarship players available could only do so much. Tech's lack of personnel has been the defining characteristic of the team this season, and any discussion about the Hokies improving their fortunes going forward has to begin with the acquisition of more ACC-caliber players. But if anyone was wondering whether Wolff, a long-time men's basketball coach leading a women's team for the first time, could get maximum effort out of this group, Tech's performance this season, and particularly Thursday, provided an emphatic answer.

Friday's ACC quarterfinal matchups (at Greensboro Coliseum):

No. 5 North Carolina (20-10) vs. No. 4 Georgia Tech (22-7), 11 a.m.

No. 9 North Carolina State (17-14) vs. No. 1 Duke (24-4), 3 p.m.

No. 7 Wake Forest (18-12) vs. No. 2 Miami (25-4), 6 p.m.

No. 6 Virginia (22-9) vs. No. 3 Maryland (25-4), 8 p.m.

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