The first meeting in 10 years, and first ever as ACC foes, was a memorable one between the Hokies and panthers. But the Hokies would drop their 10th in a row in heartbreaking fashion, falling 62-57 in double overtime. Major props to the guys for battling their rear ends off today at a tough environment in the Oakland Zoo. It’s too bad they couldn’t have pulled this out.
Tech had every chance to win this game but just couldn’t get it done. The Hokies led by 4 with less than a minute to go in regulation, but committed a dumb foul and gave the panthers a 4-point play to tie the game with 40 seconds left. Even after that, VT would have the final possession of regulation and overtime, but in both cases the Hokies were unable to get a shot off and let the game continue.
And the biggest killer for the Hokies was they went both overtimes without making a field goal:
- 0/13 on field goals in the two overtimes
- Just 2 made field goals in the final 20 minutes of the game (and both were on consecutive possessions). Tech was just 2/20 on FGs from the 10-minute mark of the 2nd half on.
- Tech did hit 9/10 free throws in the overtimes
|FGs||17/53 (32%)||18/48 (38%)|
|3-Ptrs||7/22 (32%)||6/21 (29%)|
|FTs||16/20 (80%)||20/28 (71%)|
|Scorer||Eddie 15||Wright 18|
|Rebounds||Raines 11||Zanna 7|
|Assists||Wilson 4||Patterson 5|
Crazy stat of the game: The teams combined to go 1/19 from the field in the overtimes. pitt had the only make, a layup to start the 2nd OT. The other 21 points of overtime were all free throws.
The Hokies did a lot of things good in this game:
- Tech’s much maligned senior class (Raines and Eddie) both had solid games. Jarell Eddie hit 5/12 three-pointers for 15 points after going 1/12 from deep in his previous two games. And Cadarian Raines had 8 points and 11 rebounds, narrowly missing his 3rd career double-double and forcing JJ to update his zings. Raines had NINE offensive rebounds and really got after it on the glass. He played hard.
- They held pitt’s leading scorer, Lamar Patterson (17.7 ppg), without a point for the first 43 minutes and 32 seconds of the game and he didn’t make a field goal until the 2nd overtime. He finished with just 5 points on 1/9 shooting.
- Devin Wilson, who entered this game hitting just 57% of his FTs in ACC play, went 8/11 from the line including two to tie the game with 43 seconds to go in overtime.
- Free Throws: The Hokies hit 16/19 FTs between the 2nd half and overtimes. They hit 80% for the game, well above their 56% average in ACC action.
- Tech had 17 offensive rebounds (44%) compared to just 6 by pitt (19%).
- I was going to give JJ credit for taking the air out of the ball and shortening the game, but our possessions at the end of regulation, the end of the first OT, and with a minute to go and down 4 in the 2nd OT were horrendous and 2 of those 3 were after timeouts. But slowing the game did help, largely thanks to our defense.
- No Reverse Bear Fight, avoiding a 5th straight (which would have been a VT record).
Game Summary: There were a couple of times in the first half where you said to yourself, “Here we go again.” The first was right out of the gate. pitt started 5/6 from the field including hitting 3 three-pointers to jump out to a 13-5 lead before the first media timeout, causing Coach JJ to burn a timeout.
For once, the Hokies responded to a timeout, holding the panthers without a point for just over 6 minutes, and took a 14-13 lead thank to a 9-0 run. Yes, the Hokies actually flipped the script holding the opponent scoreless.
pitt responded with a 5-0 run of their own to go back up 18-14 and you wondered again if the VT of the last month would surface. They didn’t. The Hokies of the early part of the season make an appearance and continued to battle, and at the break, Tech trailed by just 1, 27-26. Keep in mind VT had been outscored by 80 combined points in their previous 6 games, so this was a great sign.
Would the Hokies roll over and play dead after the half? Nope. Ben Emelogu drained a 3-pointer to start the 2nd half and put the Hokies back in the lead at 29-27. It marked the first time Tech has led in the 2nd half since the clemson game (7 games ago).
Virginia Tech increased their lead to as much as 5, going up 34-29 with 16:28 to go.
Tech’s defense was absolutely stellar in the 2nd half, holding pitt to just 11 points in the first 13 minutes after the break, thanks to a couple of blocks by van Zegeren and Raines each.
James Robinson hit a 3-pointer for pitt to put them ahead 41-39 with 6:50 to go, pitt’s first lead since 40 seconds into the 2nd half.
After Tech tied it at 41, perhaps the play of the game came when the Hokies should have had a layup in the paint but the ball was fumbled away and was about to go out of bounds on the left sideline, but Cameron Wright of pitt tipped the ball up the court as he jumped over the scorer’s table and Josh Newkirk grabbed it and sailed ahead for a right-handed dunk to give pitt the lead with 5:01 to go at 43-41.
Once again you wondered if Tech would pack it up and head for the airport after the panthers extended their lead to 44-41. At that point, Tech hadn’t made a field goal in more than 6 minutes and had just 2 points during that stretch. But Jarell Eddie hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game to tie it at 44 with just under 4 minutes to go. Then Devin Wilson hit an acrobatic layup, switching the ball from his right hand to his left hand mid-air (ala Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals vs the L.A. Lakers), to put the Hokies up 46-44 with 3 minutes to go.
After a couple of stops, Joey van Zegeren went to the line for a one-and-one with 40 seconds left and VT up by 2. The 26% foul shooter in ACC play BANKED the first one in, then like Ollie in Hoosiers, calmly swished the second free throw to put VT up 4.
Four points should guarantee you keep the lead for your next possession, right? Wrong. This is the 0-for-2014 Hokies. Jarell Eddie giveth, and he taketh away. And on pitt’s next possession he fouled James Robinson from the left corner as hit nailed a 3-pointer. Robinson made the subsequent free throw to tie the game and give the Hokies the ball with the game tied at 48 and the shot clock off. In pitt’s last game in a similar situation, they lost on a shot in the final second by uva.
The Hokies milked the clock for the final shot of regulation, but that would never come. Jarell Eddie was stripped of the ball by a help defender (James Robinson again), and a jump-ball gave the panthers possession with 2.7 seconds left. After a timeout, pitt’s 40-footer at the buzzer (anyone have flashbacks to the duke/Dockery shot nine years ago?) bricked harmlessly off the backboard and the Hokies were headed to overtime.
In overtime, neither team scored in the first 2 minutes until Raines hit a couple of free throws to put VT up 50-48. After a Tech turnover, Devin Wilson had a flashback to his football days in nearby McKees Rock, PA and tried to tackle Lamar Patterson and was called for an intentional foul. Patterson, all alone on the line, missed both attempts but pitt got the ball back. Two Robinson free throws tied the game back up at 50 with 100 seconds to go.
After each team hit a couple of free throws, and a Hokie stop on defense, Tech again would have the last shot. This time JJ elected not to take a timeout, and the result wasn’t any better than in regulation. Again, Tech would turn it over without getting a shot off, this time Devin Wilson lost possession of the ball going up for a jumper in the paint and overtime ended with the game tied at 52. Neither team made a field goal in overtime, with both teams hitting 4 free throws.
The 2nd overtime saw the Hokies start to run out of bodies. After playing the first 45 minutes with just 7 guys, Joey van Zegeren and Trevor Thompson both fouled out early in the 2nd extra session and pitt made the Hokies pay from the line.
- First Half FT Woes: Tech has not made a free throw in the first half of their last 2 games. They had just one attempt before the break today (which is the equally large concern – the lack of aggression on offense).
- Flurry of Fouls: Trevor Thompson and Joey van Zegeren both fouled out for the 2nd game in a row.
- Turnovers: Tech committed 20 turnovers (7 by Wilson), their 2nd most of the season (27 vs vcu) and most in ACC play. pitt committed just 11.
- Devin Wilson, in his return to his hometown, continued to struggle from the floor. He was just 1/9 and is now 7/36 (19%) on FGs over the last 5 games.
Hokies Respect Moment of the Game: With pitt about to miss their first free throw of the game, Trevor Thompson stepped in the lane early so that the panther would get another try, which he made. Hokies respect, that’s what it’s all about!
Tech has their “bye” during the week this week and don’t return to action until next Saturday, facing the miami hurricanes at 6 PM in the Cassell.