Virginia Tech snapped a 4-game losing streak against boston college thanks to a Dorian Finney-Smith tip-in with 2.1 seconds left to propel the Hokies to a 66-65 win. It wasn’t pretty, with VT 12.5 point favorites in the game against a very young bc team (they start 4 freshmen and a transfer in his 1st year at bc), but a win is a win is a win, and when you are 2-7 in the ACC, you’ll take any win. (Thank goodness I didn’t guarantee a win or I’d wear a skirt… because I’d have been sweating it down the stretch thinking I needed to find a Big & Tall Cheerleading Store)
bc’s Jordan Daniels missed a front end of a 1-and-1 with 20 seconds left to give VT the ball. It was bc’s only missed free throw in 9 attempts. Tech trailed with 11 seconds left and called a timeout with the ball, down 65-64. Erick Green drove, but lost his footing and kicked the ball out to Robert Brown for a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left. Just like at the end of the byu game, Brown had a 3 to win it. His shot hit the back iron and floated high in the air. Freshman Dorian Finney-Smith got higher than everyone else, and tipped the ball with both hands from inches away. Lonnie Jackson, who had 4 3-pointers on the day, had a running 30-footer at the buzzer to win. But forget shades of duke’s Dockery, this shot crashed off the backboard and rim but did not fall, propelling the Hokies to their 3rd ACC win and clinched a winning home record for the Hokies (Tech has had a winning record in all but 2 years of the 50+ year history of the Cassell).
This game has to give Doe Doe a ton of confidence, as he started doing the things he should be — crashing the offensive glass. It was good to see him be a hero.
Starting Lineups: Coach Greenberg shook things up with the starting lineup, deciding the hardest workers in Saturday’s practice would start Sunday. That ended up being Rankin, Green, Hudson, Barksdale (1st start), and Davila.
Game Flow: 1st Half – The Hokies jumped out on top 3-0 on a C.J. Barksdale 3-point play. It marked just the 2nd time in their last 12 games that the Hokies have scored first. But boston college followed that up with a 9-0 run to jump ahead 9-3. The eagles hit back-to-back 3s at the 13 minute mark to go ahead 17-7 on VT. Tech battled back but lazy perimeter passes plagued the Hokies, leading to 3 fast break buckets for bc. The last of which put bc up 25-18 with 6 minutes left in the half. Tech responded with a 7-0 run to tie it, with Robert Brown draining a 3 to make it 25-25 with 4 minutes left. There wasn’t much scoring down the stretch, with the game going to the half with the eagles up 29-27 after Victor Davila got his 2nd dunk of the half with 5 seconds left, giving him 8 points at the break to lead VT on 4/4 shooting. The eagles led largely due to those VT turnovers, getting 10 fast break points and 13 points off turnovers to just 2/8 respectively for the Hokies.
2nd Half – The Hokies used an early 7-0 run to go ahead 34-31, their first lead since the beginning of the game. Tech got some bad news when C.J. Barksdale rolled his left ankle and had to leave the court. But bc responded with an 8-0 run to take a 39-34 lead thanks to some hot 3-point shooting. The teams traded buckets for a while after that, with bc’s Anderson abusing Finney-Smith, backing him down on the low block. The eagles led by as many as 7, going ahead 51-44 with 9:25 to play. bc got back to back dunks from Clifford with 5:30 left to put the eagles up 58-53. Jackson killed the Hokies from deep, hitting four 3-pointers for the eagles. Zo got hot in the 2nd half, scoring all 11 of his points. With Tech down 6 and just 100 seconds to go, VT got consecutive And-1 opportunities from Green and Doe Doe (Dorian’s was with 26 seconds left). Green missed his free throw so those two buckets closed the gap to 1. After Daniels missed a free throw on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 20 seconds left, Tech got the ball down 1. They burned their final timeout with 11.7 seconds left to setup the final play.
Key Factors: bc shot 56% from the field, but it was fitting that Tech won on an offensive rebound. Tech dominated the glass, collected more offensive rebounds (18) than bc had defensive rebounds (15).
The Stat: It failed! Tech shot 40.0% (6/15) from 3-point range, while bc shot 40.9% (9/22). 23 of Tech’s last 24 ACC games had been decided by who shot a higher 3-point percentage.
VT Leading Scorers: Dorian Finney-Smith paced 4 Hokies that reached double digits with a career high 17 points. Doe Doe, who just a week ago had missed 25 straight shots, was 7/10 from the floor, mostly on the offensive glass. Dorenzo had 11, all in the 2nd half, and Green and Davila had 10 each. Robert Brown also added 8.
bc Leading Scorers: The eagles displayed their balanced attack, putting 4 guys in double digits just like the Hokies. Anderson had 17, Jackson 14 (4 3-pointers), Humphrey 13, and Clifford 10.
Scores at the Media Timeouts:
- Under 16: bc 9-3
- U12: bc 17-11
- U8: bc 21-18
- U4: bc 27-25
HALF: bc 29-27
- Under 16: bc 37-34
- U12: bc 44-42
- U8: bc 51-49
- U4: bc 61-57