It was Valentine's Day, but it was heartbreak for the Demon Deacons, who failed to got a shot off in the final seconds when they were down 61-60. The loss dropped Wake Forest to 12-14 on the season, while Virginia advanced to 23-1.
Wake Forest came out and was patient from the start. The Deacs had a 15-11 lead with 9 minutes remaining. They made smart passes, and did not force this issue. For a team used to playing such a fast-pace tempo, it was encouraging to see them adjust to Virginia's tempo.
Wake then scored just 1 point over the next five minutes, but then had a Dinos Mitoglou three, and followed by a steal and an Aaron Rountree dunk in transition gave Wake Forest a 21-16 lead. The Deacs then built the lead behind a pair of Mitoglou threes and led 31-24 at halftime. Mitoglou finished with 9 first-half points.
Wake Forest shot 48% from the field in the first half, including 39% from beyond the arc. Virginia shot just 36% from the field, including going 0-4 from beyond the arc. Wake Forest out-rebounded Virginia 16-14, and had three turnovers to Virginia 's six. Wake also had very good ball movement and had 10 assists on 12 made field goals.
Wake started off the second half with a turnover and and then Virginia drained a three on the other end. Virginia went into the under-16 timeout with a 35-34 lead. Virginia out-classed Wake over the first 10 minutes of the second half and took a 51-43 lead.Wake played excellent defense over the next stretch, but was unable to substantially cut into the lead. Led by a Dinos three and a Codi Miller-McIntyre tough shot. Wake cut it to 56-53 after a Cornelius Hudson three with 3 minutes to go. Virginia got too easy of a bucket, but Dinos answered with ANOTHER three to cut the lead to 2 at 58-56. Malcolm Brogdon. Dinos got a shot blocked, but Wake got a stop and then Dinos hit a three to cut Virginia's lead to just one with 39 seconds remaining.
Virginia made one of two free throws after an intentional foul, Codi MIller-McIntyre then made his first free throw, missed the second, but Wake got the rebound and called a timeout with 12 seconds remaining. Wake had a number of high ball screens, but Wake Forest lost the ball as the clock ran out.
Cornelius Hudson had a very good second half and finished with 12 points, including three three-pointers. Wake Forest, who had just 3 turnovers in the first half, finished with 11 for the game. Dinos finished with 18 points, all coming off three-pointers. Codi Miller-McIntyre finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Wake Forest will now travel to Notre Dame on Tuesday. The Deacs will get a shot at redemption against Virginia on Wednesday, February 25th. Virginia hosts Pittsburgh on Monday.