It was another gutsy performance from the Hokies this afternoon, as they came from behind — again — to push uva to overtime — again — where they beat the hoos… wait for it… AGAIN! Tech, as in the first game against the cavs, struggled offensively for much of the game, but did just enough to stay close and force overtime. In the extra session, the Hokies rediscovered their offense and poured it on for a 72-65 win. Despite the offensive woes during regulation, Tech’s defense was superb, holding sean singletary scoreless for much of the second half — though he did finish with 26 in the game.
With the Hokies’ big three (Jeff Allen, AD Vassallo, and Deron Washington) struggling to find their offensive rhythm, Tech Head Coach Seth Greenberg got key points from a very unexpected player: Sophomore Lewis Witcher came off the bench to give his team a hard-fought 10 points on 3/6 shooting and a perfect 4/4 from the free throw line.
Tech had five players score in double-digits for the third straight game: Washington had 15 points (9 of which were FTs), Vassallo had 14 (3/5 from 3-point range), Allen had 12 (10 in the second half and OT), and Malcolm Delaney and Witcher each had 10.
The hoos led by 12 with 8:45 to play in the first half before the Hokies went on an 12-0 run to tie the game at 23. singletary hit a three with :46 seconds left, but J.T. Thompson answered with a layup, and the Hokies only trailed by one at the break.
Tech opened the second half with a 7-1 run to take five-point lead, but uva came back to eventually take a six-point lead before the Hokies rallied at the end of regulation. With the game tied at 52-52 and Virginia holding possession, singletary got an open look at a three from the top of the key, but he missed. Deron Washington grabbed the rebound and pushed the ball upcourt, where Vassallo drove the lane and missed the layup. Washington, minus his dreads (he cut all his hair off), followed Vasallo’s miss with a devastating dunk that brought the Cassell to its feet as Tech grabbed a 54-52 lead with :14 seconds left.
On the hoos’ final possession of regulation, singletary spotted a hole in Tech’s defense. He drove the lane, forcing J.T. Thompson to slide to his left and commit the foul, sending the 84-percent free throw shooter to the line, where he hit both shots to tie the game with :07 seconds to play. The Hokies, without any timeouts, rushed upcourt and Hank Thorns slipped through the perimeter and forced a shot that missed left. Thompson was there to rebound the ball underneath, but couldn’t quite get a handle on it and missed a freebie layup at the buzzer that would have won the game.
In overtime, whatever issues the Hokies had offensively during regulation were addressed and put behind them. Tech exploded for 18 points in the extra session that featured a 13-3 run, giving the Hokies the lead for good.
The hoos struggled offensively as well in this game, shooting just under 36 percent (19/53) from the field, and believe it or not, they actually had a worse time at the FT line than the Hokies — 65.5 percent to the Hokies 65.8 percent. singletary missed three FTs, including two critical shot down the stretch.
- Tech really struggled with uva’s 2-3 zone. The hoos went to the zone in the first half, trailing 11-9, and promptly went on a 14-0 run to make it 23-11. That’s when Tech followed with a 12-0 run of their own. Tech just did not do a good job of finding the soft spots in the zone. You have to attack the zone with dribble penetration and then kick it to the weak side or back out for a three. Or feed the high post and either shoot, or find an open man when the D is drqen to you.Â The Hokies didn’t do this, and when they did get open threes, they just weren’t knocking them down. Way too much passing along the perimeter.
- The Hokies did not get many fastbreak points or points in transition. This is just not a good half court offense. When Tech isn’t able to create turnovers and get out and run, they are going to have trouble getting points.
- If you have a heart condition, stop watching VT games. They are not good for your health.
- Hats off to Lewis Witcher. He seems to lack passion and the necessary aggressiveness at times, but he had it today. 50/50 balls were his. This was his best game of the year, maybe his best ever as a Hokie.
- Jeff Allen still looked out of it in the first half, but seemed to regain his touch in the 2nd half and OT.
- Hank Thorns is getting better with each game. He is the best defender among the freshmen guards (Delaney, Hudson, and Thorns). Delaney still plays too much with his hands and continues to get called for reaching fouls — he fouled out for the 2nd game in a row.
- I’m now going to start calling Hank “Scrappy Doo”. He’s just a little rugrat that works his butt off. He sprinted 20 feet to track down a missed shot in OT and saved the ball. He also got two clutch rebounds in heavy traffic, despite only being listed at 5’9″ (and he’s not even that tall).
- Deron Washington has missed 13 straight three-pointers. Ugh. He finally quit shooting them in the 2nd half today. I guess he’s due! He is under 20% on the season now and just 2/19 in ACC play on threes. Not good. And apparently cutting his hair really short into a hybrid-mohawk didn’t help. Guess he wasn’t more aerodynamic on threes.
- Furthermore, Deron was just 3/14 from the field in this game. He was just 7/28 shooting this week, but had a double-double in both games.
- Make sure you watch Deron’s dunk with 12 seconds left in the 2nd half that put VT up two. As Cope-acabana said, it was devastating. He was 12 feet up in the air.
- Home sweet home: Plain and simple, A.D. is clutch in the Cassell. He has broken out of his 2/15 slump on threes by going 7/13 in the last two games. I guess the familiar home shooting background has helped a lot. He is an amazing 12/23 on threes in home ACC games, while just 7/27 on the road in ACC play
- Dorenzo Hudson looks lost right now. He needs to attack the rim more. He is a good penetrator, but seems hesitant to do it right now.
- The crowd seemed to be around 9k. About 1,000 empty seats. But the fans, even the alums, were very much into the game. They definitely gave the Hokies a spark down the stretch.
- What a day! I’m going to enjoy some Glenlivet 21-year-old scotch to celebrate!
- Cheick Diakite only played 1 minute. Not sure if it was an injury or a match up issue.
- Dorenzo Hudson played 10 minutes but did not score.
- uva only had two players score in double-digits and only got points from six players.
- This is the first time Virginia Tech has beaten virginia twice in the same season since ’68-’69.
- The Hokies are 5-3 in ACC play, which puts them alone in third place behind unc and duke.