“To be the worst, you’ve got to lose to the worst.” With a chance to climb out of the cellar in the ACC standings for the first time in the last 4 seasons, the 2-14 Hokies lost to the 2-14 boston college eagles at the Cassell 66-59 while putting together their worst, and most embarrassing, effort of the Buzz Williams Era. While the final score doesn’t look that bad, keep in mind this was a game VT was favored in, against a 2-14 team, at home. And Tech trailed by as many as 22 in the game… to a 2-14 team… at home. So while the Hokies made it close at the end, that was largely due to the fact bc was just killing time. Tech was never closer than 6 points in the 2nd half, and that came with 2 minutes to go after trailing by 10+ for the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half.
The eagles, who routed nc state Saturday but hadn’t won back-to-back ACC games since March of 2013, used runs of 11-0, 11-0, and 8-0 in the first half while shooting 63% to take a commanding 41-28 lead into the break. The lead would balloon to as many as 22 (52-30) before the 15-minute mark of the 2nd half. (FYI: Tech lost their 6th game in a row and haven’t won back-to-back ACC games since January of 2013.)
bc shot over 50% for the game (52% compared to 39%) and both teams were 7/20 from deep.
With the loss and just one regular season game remaining, the Hokies have clinched finishing last in the ACC for a 4th consecutive season, and unless they beat miami at home on Saturday, they will finish dead last, all alone at the bottom of the sea, for the 3rd consecutive season. And kiss appearing in the ACC/Big(14)Ten Challenge good-bye for next year. This season can’t end fast enough — I’m just tired of [stinking] at basketball. Serenity now!
This loss was Tech’s 4th consecutive defeat to bc, and 8th in 9 meetings. Note: this is boston college, not duke. bc is just 18-51 in ACC games over the last 4 seasons… but 5-1 vs VT. The eagles own the Hokies and swept Tech in football and basketball this season in Blacksburg. [SMH]
Olivier Hanlan, the ACC’s leading scorer at 19.6 PPG, had a good but not great game. He scored just 15 points on 5/13 shooting. The key was limiting everyone else… that didn’t work out. Dimitri Batten, a senior transfer from odu and Newport News, more than doubled his average of 6.7 PPG with 18 points on 4/5 3-point shooting (his most made 3s of the season), tying his previous season high. Aaron Brown added 13 (just below his 15 PPG average) and Dennis Clifford had 10. For a team where Hanlan and Brown averaged 63% of their points in the last 5 games, they had 5 guys in double figures vs nc state in their win Saturday and 4 tonight.
The Hokies were led by 22 points from Adam Smith… but there was no balance. No one else scored more than 8 for VT.
The Hokies jumped out to a 10-6 lead with 4 minutes gone thanks to 5 points from Adam Smith, but then went scoreless for the 4 minutes (stop the presses!) and saw bc go on an 11-0 run to take a 17-10 lead.
Justin Bibbs, who was 1/10 from the field against uva, hit his first 2 shots (a 3-pointer and a sweet pull-up midrange jumper). He wouldn’t score the rest of the game after that, finished 2/6 from the field (and now 3/16 in the last 2 games).
Devin Wilson buried just his 8th 3-pointer of the season and VT had a 9-0 run of their own to go up 19-17 with 8 minutes left in the half.
Then bc responded with a couple of Dimitri Batten (an odu transfer) with a couple of 3s and the eagles had a 11-0 run to go back ahead 28-19, bc’s 2nd 11-0 run of the half. This is a 2-14 team, people.
Heck, even 7-foot Dennis Clifford hit a 3-pointer… he had 1 make on the season before that in 3 attempts. That put bc up 31-21 and the Hokies trailed by double digits in the first half for the 10th time this season. An Aaron Brown 3 put the eagles up 39-26 with 2:48 to go in the half, followed by a Brown layup to make it 41-26 (an 8-0 run for the eagles). THIS IS A 2-14 TEAM, PEOPLE!
The eagles, who averaged just 64 PPG in ACC play, had 41 with 2 minutes to go in the first half. They really extended their defense in the half court, leading to bad shots and turnovers, then pushed the ball in transition to VT’s surprise, leading to a 7-0 advantage in fast break points in the first half.
boston college went into the break up 41-28.
The eagles shot 63% for the first half (17/27), including making 9 in a row at one point. They also hit 5/11 three-pointers. They didn’t get a single offensive rebound, but it didn’t matter. Hanlan had 11 points, Batten 10, and Brown 7.
VT shot just 39% (4/9 on 3s), led by Adam Smith’s 7 points and 5 from Bibbs and Pierce.
The eagles opened the 2nd half with Batten’s 3rd 3-pointer in 3 tries (he was a 32% shooter from deep coming in) and a Clifford dunk to go up 46-28 with 19 minutes to go. This is a 2-14 team!!!!
bc basically started taking a knee with 18:30 to go in the game, holding the ball near mid court for the first 20 seconds of the shot clock. The lead would increase to 50-30 at the first media timeout and peak at 52-30 with 15 minutes to go, and bc really started taking the air out of the ball.
Tech responded by going on a run of 16-2 to cut it to 54-46 with 8:18 to play as Adam Smith scored 8 points to get to 15 for the game.
Batten responded with his 4th three-pointer of the game and a driving layup to push the lead to 59-46 with 6 minutes to play.
A Malik Muller 3-pointer got Tech back within 8 with 5 minutes to go at 59-51. After a scoring lull, an Adam Smith triple got VT within 6 at 60-54 with 2 minutes to go and bc promptly turned the ball over against the press.
But Adam Smith missed a corner 3 with 75 seconds to go and VT had to go into foul mode against a very good free throw shooting team. bc hit 6/8 down the stretch in the final minute and put the game away.
***Jim Weaver, I hope you feel responsible for this. Not this game, per say, but this run of 3 straight last place finishes since you fired Seth. You could have gotten a head coach 3 years ago and while we may have stunk that next year, the healing process would have started a lot earlier. Thanks.***