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Wake Forest looks for more magic tonight vs. Virginia Tech

Posted Friday, March 9, 2007

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Wake Forest must leave thrilling double-OT win behind against Hokies

Tampa, FL - Wake Forest, which capped a memorable ACC Tournament opening round with a thrilling, record-breaking 114-112 double-overtime win over No. 6 seed Georgia Tech late Thursday night, now faces No. 3 seed Virginia Tech Friday night in the final of four quarterfinal games.

Sophomore Harvey Hale scored 21 of his team-high 22 points in the two overtime periods and freshman Ishmael Smith, snubbed on the ACC-All Freshmen Team, dished out an ACC Tournament record 15 assists Thursday night.

As far as early-round games go, Thursday's Wake Forest-Georgia Tech game was a classic in the 54-year history of the tournament. Wake's win capped a day when the four lowest seeds all won on the same day for the first time ever.

Wake Forest shot 64.2 percent, including a remarkable 77.8 percent (14-of-18) in the second half of regulation, will need a similar performance if it hopes to advance to Saturday's semifinals against Virginia or NC State.

Virginia Tech, 20-10, is the tournament's No. 3 seed and a lock for the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies, receiving votes in both national polls, have not played since last Sunday's upset loss to Clemson.

The Hokies won the only regular season meeting, beating Wake Forest, 63-60, Dec. 17 in Blacksburg.

About Last Night: Where Do You Begin?

A few notes, milestones and records from last night's 114-112 double-overtime victory over Georgia Tech:
- The 114 points was an ACC Tournament record for any team (previously 109 by Maryland in 1978 and by Virginia in 1983).
- The 226 combined points were an ACC Tournament record.
- Wake set a school record for the most points on a neutral court (previously 107 points vs. St. Joseph's in Jacksonville, Fla. on Dec. 26, 1975).
- The Deacons scored 100 points in an ACC Tournament game for just the second time. The other came in a 100-101 loss in overtime to UNC on March 6, 1975.
- The 114 points was the 10th-most in Wake Forest history, the most since scoring 119 in triple-overtime at North Carolina on Dec. 20, 2004.
- Wake Forest scored its most points ever vs. Georgia Tech (previously 101 in 2005, an overtime contest).
- The 226 combined points were the fourth-most involving a Wake Forest team, the most since the 119-114 triple overtime game at North Carolina.
- Ishmael Smith's 15 assists broke an ACC Tournament record. The old record of 13 was shared by three different players.
- Smith's 15 assists broke the Wake freshmen record he already held (11, twice earlier this season).
- His 15 assists give him 185 for the season, breaking the Deacon freshmen season record of 183 held by Chris Paul in 2004.
- Wake Forest had seven players finish in double figures, tying a school record. It was the fifth time that had happened and the first since the 2003 triple-overtime win at North Carolina.
- The Deacons' field goal percentage (.642) was the fourth-highest in ACC Tournament history and the highest since 1982.
- Wake's 48 free throw attempts tied for the fourth-most in ACC Tournament history and were the most since 2002.
- The 16 three-point field goals tied for the third-most in school history, the most since the Deacons made 19 in 2002 at Clemson.
- The 16 three-pointers tied for the second-most in ACC Tournament history.
- The 69.6 percent from beyond the arc was the ninth-best in school history and the third-best in ACC Tournament history.
- The 69.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc was the best in school history with a minimum of 10 makes (previously 10-of-15 vs. Cincinnati in 2004).
- The 77.8 percent from the floor in the second half was the fifth-best in school history, the best since shooting 80 percent against Missouri in 1997.
- The 26 turnovers tied for the 11th-most in school history.
- The 26 turnovers were the most by any team in the ACC Tournament since 1981.
- Kyle Visser eclipsed 900 career points and 500 points for the season.
- Visser's 7-of-7 field goal shooting tied for the best ever in the ACC Tournament by a Wake Forest player; Mike Helms went 7-of-7 vs. UNC in 1981.
- His 7-of-7 shooting tied for the fourth-most field goals without a miss in Wake Forest history; he already owns the single-game record (11-of-11) earlier this year.
- Visser scored 20 points for the 10th time this season. Prior to this season he had never scored more than 16 points in a game.
- Smith's 15 assists tied for the third-most single-game assists in Wake Forest history and were the most by a Deacon player since Tyrone Bogues had 17 assists vs. Clemson in 1987 and vs. North Carolina in 1986.
- His 15 assists were the most ever by a Wake Forest player in the ACC Tournament, breaking the old record of 10 shared by Tyrone Bogues, Randolph Childress and Justin Gray.
- Smith dished out double-figure assists for the third time and for the second time in the St. Pete Times Forum. He had 11 assists vs. South Florida Dec. 29.
- His 46 minutes tied for the 25th most in school history
- Freshman L.D. Williams scored a career-high 18 points.
- Williams made his 30th consecutive start -- the fifth-most by a Deacon freshman (only Josh Howard, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul and Eric Williams started more games as freshmen).
- Williams made a career-high three 3-point field goals -- more three-pointers than he had in his previous seven games combined.

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Wake Forest looks for more magic tonight vs. Virginia Tech
WFU's Ishmael Smith dished out an ACC Tournament record 15 assists Thursday night.
photo by Gene Galin