ACC basketball: Wake Forest, NC State pick up victories

Published 11:30 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM — Jake LaRavia scored 22 points, Alondes Williams added 20 and Wake Forest pulled away early in the first half and cruised to a 76-54 victory over Florida State on Tuesday night.

Wake Forest (12-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) avenged last season’s 92-85 overtime loss against Florida State and beat the Seminoles for the first time since Jan. 31, 2018.

Khadim Sy added 16 points and a season-high 10 rebounds for the Demon Deacons.

LaRavia shot 6 of 9 from the field and made 9 of 11 free throws with a game-high five assists. Williams, who entered averaging 20.1 points and a conference-best 5.1 assists, finished 7 of 13 from the floor and added four assists.

Matthew Cleveland scored 13 points and Caleb Mills had 10 for Florida State (7-5, 1-2), which shot 24% (15 of 62) from the floor.

Wake Forest used a 17-0 run to help build a 35-22 halftime advantage. Sy sparked the surge with seven straight points and Isaiah Mucius scored eight of his nine points during the stretch. LaRavia’s fast-break layup pushed the lead to 61-36 with about 10 minutes remaining.

The Deacons ended a two-game skid and hosts Syracuse on Saturday.

Florida State, which had three straight games either canceled or postponed before it beat North Carolina State 83-81, will face Louisville at home on Saturday.

NC State 68, Va. Tech 63

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Sophomore Dereon Seabron scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half and North Carolina State rallied to beat the Hokies.

Seabron sank 8 of 14 shots from the floor and added 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season for the Wolfpack (8-7, 1-3), who snapped a five-game skid.

Terquavion Smith hit four 3-points and scored 17 with seven boards for the Wolfpack. Smith hit seven 3s his last time out, second best in N.C. State history for a freshman, and entered the game second in the ACC with 36 makes from beyond the arc. Jericole Hellems sank three 3s and scored 15.

Virginia Tech (8-6, 0-3) led 33-29 at halftime and 41-34 on a Keve Aluma three-point play with 17:15 left in the game. Seabron sandwiched two layups around a 3-pointer by Hellems to spark a 13-0 run that gave the Wolfpack a 47-41 lead with 13:57 remaining. Smith and Seabron buried back-to-back 3s to cap the spurt. A basket by Aluma ended the run, but Hellems answered with a 3-pointer and a layup to push the lead to nine with 12:28 left.

The Hokies battled back to grab a 59-58 lead on a rebound basket by Justyn Mutts at 4:54, but Ebenezer Dowuona hit a go-ahead turn-around jumper in the paint for his only points of the game. Seabron hit a bucket and two free throws to wrap up the win.

Aluma finished with 18 points and six rebounds for the Hokies. Storm Murphy added 14 points and five assists.

Virginia Tech was coming off a COVID-19 pause and hadn’t played since losing to No. 2 Duke on Dec. 22. The Hokies’ last home game was Dec. 8. Virginia Tech is 0-3 in ACC play for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts picked up his first win in four tries against the Hokies since taking over the Wolfpack program in 2017-18. Georgia Tech is the only ACC opponent Keatts hasn’t beaten. The Wolfpack snapped a three-game skid to Virginia Tech and lead the all-time series 41-18.