Once again the Hokies were within reach of getting their NCAA Tournament ticket punched, only to have the ticket-taker drift away into the night and leave Tech empty handed.Â VT now faces a must-win situation on Sunday at florida state.
The Hokies played uphill all game, trailing most of the contest — VT never led.Â But VT cut the heel lead to one with 5:17 to play.Â After that, unc went on a 10-0 run to go ahead 73-62 with 2:59 to play and the Hokies never got closer than five after that.Â Remind anyone of the duke game and the final five minutes in that contest?
A.D. Vassallo, aka: Mr. 2nd-Half, had another stellar night in his final regular season game at Cassell.Â A.D. scored 25 points, including 19 in the second half, and moved ahead of Ace Custis into 8th place on the VT all-time scoring list.Â Jeff Allen had his sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but 14 of his points were in the first half.Â He was the Hokie offense in the first stanza.Â Malcolm Delaney added 19 points, but many of them were free throws in garbage time.Â He was just 4/16 from the field including 1/7 on threes.Â He is 6/28 in his last two games and just 1/13 from long range.Â
The heels dominated the Hokies inside on offense.Â They were able to score at will in the low post.Â Tyler Hansbrough had 22 points while Deon Thompson and Ed Davis added eight each.Â On the perimeter, Ty Lawson seemingly could score whenever he wanted to.Â He was just too quick for any Hokie to guard.Â Lawson poured in 22 points.Â Wayne Ellington added 15, hit three big three-pointers in the first half.Â He shot over the Hokies when he wanted to, especially Hank Thorns.
For the game, Tech held unc to just 41% shooting from the field and 32% on threes, but gave up 14 offensive rebounds. VT lost the turnover battle by three (11-8).Â unc converted more of Tech’s turnovers into points, outscoring VT 15-4 on fast breaks and 18-8 on points off turnovers.Â Tech just could not cash in on a couple of 3-on-1s, and missed two easy layups in the game (stop me if you’ve heard that before).
It was deja vu all over again for the Hokies in this contest.Â For the fourth straight game Tech started slow andÂ stared a significant deficit in the face by the first media timeout.Â As has become the norm, the Hokies started slow from the field and trailed 12-6 at the first media timeout.Â This was the fourth straight game the Hokies trailed by six or more at the first TV timeout and 13th time in 15 ACC games Tech has been behind at the first break.
The Hokies did battle back and got to within one in the first half.Â But a Tyler Hansbrough three at the end of the half pushed the unc lead to six at the break.
Tech finished their home slate a disappointing 4-4 in ACC play.Â The Hokies did play a very difficult home schedule, but Tech went just 1-4 against teams currently above .500 inÂ ACC play.Â They went 3-0 against the bottom three teams in the league.Â bc is the only team above .500 that VT beat at home, and they sit at just 8-7 in the league right now and were 1-2 in ACC play when the Hokies defeated them.Â If you want to make the Big Dance and want to compete for a bye in this league, you have to beat the teams in the upper half of the league at home on occasion.Â The Hokies were unable to get that done this season.
Tech finishes the regular season on Sunday at 2 PM at florida state.Â VT lost the first meeting, less than two weeks ago, 67-65 at the Cassell.