Virginia Tech trailed for most of the game, rallied to force overtime, and then rallied to overcome a five-point deficit in overtime in a 66-65 victory over Bradley in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The Hokies improved to 9-2 with the win, while Bradley dropped to 8-3.
Tech trailed 65-60 with 40 seconds remaining, and Joey van Zegeren went to the free throw line and made one of two free throws. After a missed free throw by Bradley, Christian Beyer pulled down the board, got it ahead to Erick Green, who hit a layup and was fouled. Green converted the free throw, and Tech trailed 65-64 with 26 seconds left.
On the ensuing play, Christian Beyer got his hand on the ball, and it was stolen away by Marquis Rankin. He got the ball to Erick Green, who converted the layup to put the Hokies up 66-65 with 21 seconds left. (Note: the official box score credits that steal and assist to Rankin. Following the game live, I was under the impression that it was Christian Beyer who made the steal and the assist, but both were credit to Rankin.)
Bradley got the ball back for one last shot, but Marquis Rankin tried to make it easy on them by fouling with just 9.6 seconds left. Walt Lemon, Jr. went to the line and missed both free throws, but the ball rolled out of bounds to the Braves. Lemon then missed a shot at the end, and Robert Brown came away with the defensive rebound, and the Hokies held on.
Erick Green scored a career-high 31 points, and he also grabbed eight rebounds in 41 minutes. Green did commit five turnovers, and the Hokies had to overcome 24 turnovers as a team to rally and get the win.
Christian Beyer, a walkon post player who was playing with Marshall Wood out with a fractured foot, came up big for Tech. In 27 minutes, Beyer is credited with three points, nine rebounds, two steals and an assist.
“He’s the hero,” Erick Green said of Beyer following the game.
Cadarian Raines had struggled recently, but he came back with a 16-point, nine-rebound performance against the Braves. Jarell Eddie finished with 12 points and five rebounds. C.J. Barksdale didn’t score, and only had one rebound, but Beyer more than made up the difference on the boards.
Virginia Tech will return to action late Sunday night when they take on Colorado State in Las Vegas. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 11:30pm, and the game will be televised by CBS College Sports Network.