Freshman guard Jalen Hudson came off the bench to score a career-high 32 points, including a 10-for-10 effort at the free throw line, and Virginia Tech withstood three shots at the basket in the final seconds to hold off Wake Forest 81-80 in the first round of the ACC tournament Tuesday at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Hokies (11-21) snapped a seven-game losing streak and will play sixth-seeded Miami (20-11) at 9 p.m. Wednesday in the second round.
Wake Forest (13-19), which was out of timeouts, was able to set up a final shot while the referees reviewed video of the previous play, when Codi Miller-McIntyre was stripped of the ball driving to the baseline. Possession stayed with the Deacons, but Dinos Mitoglou missed a baseline jumper, Devin Thomas was too strong on a follow shot from the weak side, and Miller-McIntyre couldn't connect on a tip-in try at the buzzer.
Ahmed Hill, another freshman, was the only other player in double figures for Virginia Tech with 12 points.
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Miller-McIntire led Wake, which lost six of its last seven games, with 23 points and 11 assists, and Thomas added 22 points. Cornelius Hudson scored 14 off the bench, and Mitoglou finished with 11. However, Miller-McIntyre lost a point when his free throw at the 3:58 mark was disallowed as Thomas stepped into the lane early. It would have given the Deacons a 70-68 lead.
As it was, Wake rallied from a five-point deficit in the final minute and took the lead for the final time at 80-79 on Mitoglou's third 3-pointer of the day with 23.7 seconds left.
Hudson answered for the Hokies when he got loose on a drive on the right side and banked in a short shot with 16.7 seconds to go.