It wasn't pretty at all times, but it sure feels good to get a win. On Wednesday night, Tech finished off their three game homestand by picking up a 71-66 victory over Wake Forest. Huge applause goes out to senior leader Marcus Georges-Hunt, who poured in a career high 30 points on 11-15 shooting.
The Jackets started the game off sleepwalking and Wake jumped out to an early lead. Less than four minutes in, the Demon Deacons were up 12-5, forcing Brian Gregory to call a timeout. Wake kept their foot on the gas and the lead was stretched to eleven, but the Jackets answered with a 12-3 run to cut the lead back to two. At halftime, the Demon Deacons led 39-35. The second half picked up where the first half left off, with both teams battling back and forth before the Jackets took their first lead of the half with 12:39 remaining. From that point on, they never looked back and Tech didn't trail again for the rest of the game.
We're running out of words to describe the play of Marcus Georges-Hunt who scored a career high 30 points on 11-15 shooting. He scored the Jackets first basket of the night and capped it off with four clutch free throws in the last 30 seconds of the game. MGH has no quit in him and it's great to see him playing so well in his senior year, averaging 16 points per game.
Charles Mitchell has been struggling ever since the Pittsburgh game and he was especially upset with himself after his eight point, two rebound performance against Miami. Tonight, we saw the Mitchell that we saw throughout non-conference play as he scored 14 points and added 15 rebounds. Mitchell has collected 15 rebounds in five different games this season. Nick Jacobs was the other Tech player in double figures, scoring 11 tonight.
Brian Gregory went with a lineup change tonight, bringing Adam Smith off the bench for the first time this season. Last year at Virginia Tech, Smith was often brought in off the bench, but it did not work tonight as he went just 1-8 from the field. However, his one basket might have been the most important one of the night. With the Tech lead at four and two minutes left in the game, Smith got an open look from behind the arc and drained it to stretch the lead to seven.
Wake got a big contribution from their senior leader Devin Thomas, but failed to get much scoring from anyone else. Thomas, who came in averaging 16 points per game, scored 20, but Wake only had one other player in double figures, Bryant Crawford who scored 10.
The Demon Deacons came into tonight's game ranked 341st in the country in turnover margin and the Jackets were able to force 16 tonight (compared to 12 of their own). On top of his 30 points, MGH had three steals and James White had two.
The Jackets now look to carry some momentum into a two game road trip, heading to Clemson on Saturday and FSU next Wednesday. After early conference wins over Louisville, Duke, and Miami, Clemson suddenly looks much more beatable, having lost 4 of their last 6, including two losses in a row. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 ET on Saturday!