Both Virginia, Clemson will be looking for bounce-back performances on Saturday

Cavaliers follow ACC opening victory over North Carolina by losing to Wake Forest

Virginia guard Justin Anderson (23) shoots against Wake Forest forwards Tyler Cavanaugh (34) and Arnaud William Adala Moto (45) and guard Chase Fischer (10) during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/The Winston-Salem Journal, Andrew Dye)

Virginia guard Justin Anderson (23) shoots against Wake Forest forwards Tyler Cavanaugh (34) and Arnaud William Adala Moto (45) and guard Chase Fischer (10) during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/The Winston-Salem Journal, Andrew Dye)

Virginia's Cavaliers were looking like one of the ACC's best.

Not much good has been said, meanwhile, about Wake Forest's Demon Deacons.

None of the run-up seemed to matter Wednesday night after the Cavaliers left Wake's Joel Arena smarting from an unexpected 55-52 defeat.

Virginia, which opened its ACC schedule by knocking off North Carolina on Sunday, will next play against Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum at noon on Saturday. The Tigers are coming off a 68-40 thumping at the hands of No. 1 Duke.

C.J. Harris scored 16 points and Travis McKie added 14 points for the Demon Deacons (8-6, 1-1 ACC), who led by 14 points midway through the second half before holding off a rally by the Cavaliers in the final six minutes. Wake Forest won despite shooting just 26 percent after halftime and going the final 10 minutes without a field goal.

Instead, the Demon Deacons clung to their lead by knocking down just enough free throws to stay ahead, the last coming when Harris hit two with 5.3 seconds left for what turned out to be the final margin.

The Cavaliers (11-4, 1-1) had one more chance, but Jontel Evans threw the ball away on the wing and Joe Harris couldn’t collect the ball in time for a desperation 3-point heave before the horn sounded.

Freshman Mike Tobey scored 14 points to lead Virginia. Harris added 13 points, including a contested 3-pointer over Harris from right in front of the Virginia bench that made it 53-52 with 6.3 seconds left. He also knocked down a 3 with 16.5 seconds left that finally made it a one-possession game and set the stage for a wild finish.

Virginia shot just 36 percent and committed 17 turnovers, its second highest total of the season. Those miscues led to 15 points for the Demon Deacons, who shot 52 percent in the first half before the Cavaliers’ stingy defense finally showed up.

Wake Forest’s last field goal was a perfectly executed give-and-go layup by Codi Miller McIntyre off a feed from fellow freshman Devin Thomas, giving the Demon Deacons a 46-32 lead with 10:22 left.

Wake Forest made just 5 of 19 shots after halftime but hung on by making 15 of 18 free throws (83 percent) in the second half.

Virginia was coming off a 61-52 home win against North Carolina on Sunday night. Beating the Demon Deacons would’ve made the Cavaliers 2-0 in the league for the first time since starting 3-0 in Tony Bennett’s first season in 2009-10. Before that, the Cavaliers hadn’t won their first two ACC games since the 1994-95 season.

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