In front of fewer than 4,000 fans, the Hokies dropped fourth game out of their last five, losing at home to the previously 4-11/0-2 boston college eagles by a 62-59 score at the Cassell. Tech has now lost 6 of their last 7 against the eagles, a head-scratching number given bc has been at the bottom of the ACC the last several years. Between football and basketball, the eagles really seem to be our kryptonite.
This game featured two teams expected to finish in the lower third of the ACC and this game could not have been closer. The eagles, the most unathletic team in the ACC, had lost 7 games in a row against Division I opponents, but they were ready today. Neither team led by more than 5 points in the game which feature 15 lead changes. The last of which came on a Lonnie Jackson 3-pointer, his 5th of the game, with 27 seconds left to put bc up 61-59. The Hokies advanced the ball past half court and took a timeout with 22 seconds left. That’s when your…
JJ Head-Scratchers of the Game Happened…
- JJ took C.J. Barksdale out of the game with 22 seconds left for that critical possession… he had been Tech’s best offensive threat in the 2nd half including hit two 3-pointers. No idea what the thinking was here, Adam Smith needed to come in but for someone else (like JvZ).
- After the timeout, Tech bled the clock until inside of 5 seconds were left, instead of trying to score quickly and, if unable to, fouling to extend the game. Not sure if that’s what JJ drew up, but that’s what happened.
With 2 seconds left Adam Smith shot a fadeaway baseline jumper that bounced high off the rim and out. bc gathered the rebound and hit 1 of 2 free throws. Jarell Eddie grabbed the miss and launched a full court shot that actually hit the back rim, but like most of his shots on the day, was just off. Jarell was just 3/14 on the day and 1/6 on 3-pointers.
Several things did in the Hokies in this contest:
- Free Throws: Devin Wilson was 2/8 from the line. Ouch. And by the 2nd half is was mental, clearly getting in his head. The rest of the team was pretty good (10/13) but 12/21 (57%) overall just won’t win you games.
- Abysmal 2nd half shooting: The Hokies were 8/28 from the field (29%) in the 2nd half.
- Worse than normal 3-point shooting: Tech was just 7/22 from deep (32%) for the game. They started the 2nd half 1/7 from deep.
- Pathetic Paint Shooting in the 2nd half: The Hokies started the 2nd half 1/9 (11%) on shots in the paint. Let me repeat that — ONE for NINE! These are layups, people! They missed 2 dunks. DUNKS! For the 2nd half Tech was just 3/12 on shots in the paint.
- Tech also seemed to lose a lot of 50/50 balls and several times in the first half did not stop the ball in transition, leading to easy buckets for bc (who also had 21 points from behind the arc in the first half on 14 3-point attempts).
- The Hokies haven’t reached 60 points in any of their 3 ACC games this season (averaging 57 points). But that’s what happens when you can’t shoot; and Tech has just 10 fast break points in their last 2 ACC games.
Just to double up, here’s how bad Tech was shooting the ball in every facet Saturday:
- All Field Goals: 20/57 (35%)
- Shots in the Paint: 9/24 (38% — these are layups, people!!!)
- Midrange Jumpers: 4/11 (36% — Tech just doesn’t have midrange shooters on this team and that creates a huge hole, allowing the defense to flash out on 3-point shooters and then pack it in the lane to defend the drive. Oh, and one of them was banked in (that’s 3 banks in 2 games))
- 3-Pointers: 7/22 (32% — not terrible but this team has to do better from deep to win)
- Free Throws: 12/21 (57% — awful, just awful)
Adam Smith had 12 points to lead the Hokies, but just 2 in the 2nd half. C.J. Barksdale tallied 11 and Eddie had 10.
Oh, and in the next chapter of the When It Raines It Pours soap opera, Cadarian didn’t play at all today.
The Hokies led 34-32 at the break despite bc’s 50% 3-point shooting.
And there were some positives in this game:
- 6 turnovers: That’s a season low. The Hokies, worst in the ACC in turnovers coming into today, have not committed just 22 combined turnovers in their last 3 games. The problem is that’s translated to a 1-2 record.
- Block Party: Joey van Zegeren had 5 blocks for the game, tying his career high.
- 2nd half defense: While the Hokies couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat on offense in the final 20, their defense did get much better — after bc went 7/14 from deep in the first half, they were just 3/12 in the 2nd half. And Lonnie Jackson, who had 14 points in the first 17 minutes, didn’t score for the first 19:30 of the 2nd half… the problem is Tech let him get open off a screen and hit the game-winning 3-pointer.
- Devin Wilson was very aggressive on offense early in the game, which was great to see. And as a result he got to the line a bunch. The problem was… well, you know. He did have 4 assists on the day and 3 steals. He even hit a 3-pointer, just his 3rd on the season.
Yes, bc was 4-11 coming in. But they had a murderous schedule. Still, this is a game Tech had to win at home if they want to avoid the ACC cellar, and they found a way to lose at the end. This team continues to struggle to finish close games. That’s about all I can say. This was a tough loss, and obviously the fans are fed up. This game marked the third time this season fewer than 4,000 have passed the gates and 7th time in the last 8 home games fewer than 5,000 fans showed up (radford drew 5,200).
Tech returns to action Wednesday night against clemson at the Cassell. See about 3,900 of you then!