Virginia Tech’s Big Three – Jeff Allen (6), Malcolm Delaney (13) and A.D. Vassallo (14) – combined for just 33 points as the Hokies lost their final regular season game on the road to No. 24-ranked fsu, 53-63. Tech’s 53 points was its second lowest output of the season behind its 44-point effort at duke. The Hokies did get a stellar game from Cheick Diakite who pulled down a career high 11 rebounds.
Once again the Hokies got off to an extremely slow start and hit just 1 of their first 11 shots. With less than 8 minutes to play in the first half, the Hokies only had 9 points and trailed by 14 points with less than 5 minutes left in the half. But, they did not quit and fought their way back into the game and cut fsu’s lead down to 7 at the half.
The second half saw the noles push their lead back to double digits. Tech hung tough and kept it close and even got to within 3 points with a little more than 7 minutes to play. That’s when fsu’s Toney Douglas started to heat up. He buried a 3 pointer to push the lead back to six and scored 12 points in the final seven minutes to lead fsu past Tech. Douglas was the only fsu player to score in double digits.
Foul trouble was an issue for the Hokies in the second half as Allen and Delaney sat for a good chunk of time with four fouls each. Turnovers (including several lazy passes) killed Seth Greenberg’s team. Tech committed 17 turnovers and fsu turned them into 18 points. Though fsu is much bigger than Tech, the ‘noles only had a 36-33 edge in rebounding. Diakite played with with the big boys today and more than held his own.
It was another poor shooting performance for Tech as they managed just 30 percent from the field (16/52), 25 percent from three (5/20) and 69 percent from the free throw line (16/23). Next to the duke loss, this was probably Tech’s worst game of the season – statistically speaking.
The loss caps a disappointing end to the regular season for Virginia Tech. Following the Hokies’ 76-71 win against georgia tech on Feb. 11, Tech stood at 16-7 overall and 6-3 in the ACC. Since that game, Tech has won only once, losing six of their final seven games, including three homes games. Their lone win was an upset on the road against #12 clemson on Feb. 25.
The loss gives the Hokies a 7-9 conference record and means the Hokies will need to deep in the ACC tournament. More than likely, the Hokies will need to win the whole thing, especially if last season is any barometer. The Hokies were 18-12 and 9-7 last season and lost on a last second shot to unc in the ACC semifinals and still got snubbed by the NCAA selection committee. Short of winning the ACC tournament, the Hokies appear to be NIT bound.
Next up for Tech is the ACC tourney which begin on Thursday. Tech will take on miami at noon. The Hokies beat the canes earlier this season 88-83 in overtime, in Miami. The entire ACC tournament will be broadcast on Raycom and ESPN or ESPN2.
A.D. Vassallo needs just two more 3-point field goals to set a new Virginia Tech career record for made 3-pointers. Wally Lancaster currently holds the record with 257 made 3-pointers from 1986-89. Lancaster also holds the school record for most 3-point attempts (694) and most consecutive games with a made 3-pointer with 73.