Virginia's fast start in the first half enabled the Cavaliers to defeat Wake Forest, 64-59, despite limited service from center Ralph Sampson and guard Lee Raker in an Atlantic Coast Conference game tonight.

Virginia hit seven of its first 10 shots en route to a 16-point advantage midway through the first half, and led at halftime, 41-32. The Cavaliers shot 59 percent in the first half as guard Jeff Lamp, last season's ACC scoring leader, popped in 14 points.

Raker, who missed the contest with a shoulder separation, was joined on the bench by Sampson with 13:47 to play when the freshman reinjured an ankle he twisted in practice the day before. Before Sampson's injury, Virginia raised its lead to 55-36.

Wake Forest capitalized on height advantage and poor Virginia shooting to cut away at the deficit. The Cavaliers failed to connect from the floor in the last 7 1/2 minutes, but foul shots by Garland Jefferson, Jeff Jones and Terry Gates kept Wake Forest at bay.

"We didn't expect Ralph to play this afternoon," said Virginia Coach Terry Holland. "He had a tough time getting up on his toes. I'm pleased with the win. We struggled at the end, but we kept our poise."

Lamp finished with 21 points and Sampson 11 rebounds in 19 minutes as Virginia improved its record, to 10-1, and 2-0 in ACC play. Mike Helms score 15 points, and David Morris 14 as Wake Forest played the Cavs to a standoff on the backboards, paced by Alvis Rogers' 11 caroms. The Demon Deacons are 6-4 overall and 0-1 in league play.