Georgia Tech (11-19, 4-12 ACC) led by four, 32-28, at halftime, but the Deacons opened the second period with an 11-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at 39-34. The Jackets overcame the deficit to earn a season split with the Deacons, who the first matchup 59-50 last month in Winston-Salem.
The Yellow Jackets' second-half surge was due in large part to their work on the offensive glass. Georgia Tech pulled down eight offensive rebounds and scored 13 second-chance points (out of 14 for the game) in the period. The Jackets also scored 20 of their total 24 points in the paint in the half.
C.J. Harris led the Deacons with 17 points, hitting 3-of-6 from 3-point range, while Travis McKie finished with 16 points and four rebounds.
Nikita Mescheriakov joined the two in double figures with 12 points. Mescheriakov also dished out a career-high seven assists and led the team with five rebounds.
Carson Desrosiers finished with nine points and four blocks before fouling out. Tony Chennault tied for the team lead with five boards.
Jason Morris led the Jackets with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
Georgia Tech finished 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) from 3-point range, hitting eight of the 11 3-pointers in the first half.
The teams traded quick runs in the early going, as Georgia Tech hit five of its first 10 3-point attempts to build a 17-12 lead at the 12:44 mark. Wake Forest responded with a 9-0 run, holding the Jackets scoreless for over four minutes to go up 21-17.
With the Deacons holding a 27-24 lead at the 4:24 mark, the Yellow Jackets ended the half with an 8-1 run to take a 32-28 advantage into the locker room.
The teams played a fairly clean first half, combining for just six turnovers and 11 fouls. Wake Forest was not whistled for a personal foul until the 4:43 mark, at which point the Philips Arena crowd erupted with everything short of a standing ovation, and finished with just three in the half.
Georgia Tech finished the half 8-for-17 from 3-point range (47.1 percent), giving the Jackets one more 3-pointer in the first period than they finished with for the entire game (7-for-18) in last month's meeting.
Wake Forest came out of halftime determined to turn the tables back in its favor. After the Jackets made a quick bucket to take a six-point lead, the Deacons followed with nine straight points on a trio of 3-pointers, first by Chennault and then a pair by Harris to prompt a Georgia Tech timeout. Mescheriakov capped the 11-2 run with a driving layup, and the Deacons were up 39-34 just three minutes into the second period.
With Wake Forest holding a 48-44 lead at the 10:11 mark, Georgia Tech rattled off eight straight points to take a 52-48 advantage. The spurt began a 15-3 Yellow Jacket run that gave the home squad a 51-41 lead with under five minutes to play in the game.
Wake Forest will open ACC Tournament play on Thursday, March 8, at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Deacons will be the ninth, 10th or 12th seed in the Tournament. The official seedings and bracket will be released by the ACC office on Sunday.