Like I said in the highlights, I’m so proud of the way the Hokies played today and the effort they gave. It would have been easy to lay down having lost seven straight and playing on the road, but Tech played their heart out, and if it hadn’t been for a 14-0 run from the 8-minute mark to the 4-minute mark of the second half, the Hokies probably would have won. And even after they fell behind, they pulled an incredible missed free throw play out (major props to JJ, they have obviously worked on this) to get the game to overtime. But, alas, it was not to be. I feel bad for the guys — they deserved to walk off the court as winners today.
Ugh, so close!!! Tech is so close to being 2-0 in the Triangle this year, losing in OT at unc (after missing a shot at the end of regulation) and in OT at nc state (after blowing a 7-point lead with 8 minutes to play and a 1-point lead in OT with EG on the line). It stinks, but it shows how good this team can be at times. Well, maybe the third time is the charm? VT plays at duke in a few weeks, and will head further down Tobacco Road to wake, also.
Because of the positive vibe from this game, I’m only focusing on the positives today…
THE GLASS HALF FULL:
- Jarell Eddie had 11 points between the final 11 seconds of regulation and the 5-minutes of overtime, hitting 3/4 three-pointers and 4/6 shots. Coming into this game he had been 2/21 on FGs and 1/14 on 3s in Tech’s previous 3 games, so this was a great sign. He shot in rhythm squared up to the basket and looked as deadly as it did earlier in the season. Hopefully he can maintain this stroke going forward, and if so, VT will start winning some games.
- Marshall Wood looks like a different player the last week. Going into the georgia tech game at VT, he was 1/7 on FGs and 0/3 on 3s in ACC games (2 total points), and was 1/22 on 3-pointers for the season. Since then, he’s 7/14 from behind the arc and 9/16 from the field. Wood scored a career high 14 today to build on his 8 at uva. Marshall was 4/9 on 3s and he couldn’t hide his smile after draining two deep 3s in the second half.
- More Wood: He had 16 rebounds today!!! 16!!! That’s the most by a Hokie since Doo-Doo Finney-Smith in last season’s opener (also 16). It was Wood’s first career double-double.
- EG had a solid 29 points in regulation today on 11/24 shooting. So whatever slump he was in during the first half at uva is over. He had 50 points in the next three halves of play. However, his miss on the front end of a one-and-one in OT with VT up 1 was disappointing, but he had to be exhausted by that point.
- Offensive Rebounds: The Hokies snagged 21 offensive rebounds today. 21! Tech grabbed 45% of their misses (nc state got 38% of theirs). For the week, VT got 38% of their misses and held their opponents to 31%.
- 3-Point Shooting: The Hokies were 11/23 (48%) from deep today. That’s their most made 3s in an ACC game this year (previous was 10 vs miami). Tech is 26/68 (38%) in their last 3 games from behind the arc. They had been 44/144 (30.5%) in the previous 9 games. Again, if VT can keep this up, they will start winning.
- 3-Point Defense: While Scott Wood killed the Hokies with 19 second half/OT points (including 5 three-pointers and 3 free throws after getting fouled on a 3 and a 4-point play), Tech did hold nc state below their ACC 3-Point % of 41% (VT held them to 38.9%). I know, that’s pretty close, but considering 10 of Tech’s previous 11 ACC opponents had surpassed their normal 3-Pt%, we’ll take it.
- Energy and Overcoming Adversity (i.e. the refs): I thought every Hokie played their rear off today and that’s something to be proud of. Plus, Tech was called for 28 fouls, nc state 12. Yes, they were more aggressive. But 43 FTs to 7? No Hokie other than EG went to the line. But the Hokies just sucked it up and kept battling. And it was state that lost their cool, with C.J. Leslie getting a technical foul when he finally didn’t get a call (at that point in the game fouls were 16-7 and free throws were 17-2 in state’s favor. Really, C.J.? No wonder people think you have no heart.)
Lots of positives to take from today. This team hasn’t given up yet. Just need to come out Thursday (hopefully in front of a decent crowd in the Cassell… that is hopefully pro-Hokies) and give the blue devils a big old turd burger. Let’s beat duke… again!