Virginia Tech got another huge performance from Ty Outlaw and defeated #25 Miami 66-61 in Cassell Coliseum on Monday night. The Hokies improved to 21-8 overall and 10-7 in the ACC with the win, while the Hurricanes dropped to 20-9 overall and 10-7 in conference play.
The win also bumped the Hokies from #39 in the RPI to #34. Miami is currently #37 in the RPI after the loss, which gives Tech its fourth Top 50 RPI win of the season. The others came against #13 Duke, #17 UVA and #45 Michigan. The last time the Hokies were left out of the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday, they were #61 in the RPI with only one Top 50 win. In short, this current VT squad has a much better resume than the 2010-11 team.
“We’re just trying to finish off on a good note,” Ahmed Hill said following the game. “If we get the W on Saturday, then who knows, maybe we get in [the NCAA Tournament].”
Outlaw, the redshirt-junior whose role has increased since Chris Clarke’s injury, had yet another dominant shooting night. This time he broke the Virginia Tech record for three-pointers in a game, knocking down 8-of-10 shots to finish with 24 points. He also added four rebounds and two assists, and did not commit a turnover. His emergence is all the more amazing, as the JUCO transfer was told after enrolling at Tech that he might never play basketball again because of a heart condition.
The always humble Outlaw didn’t know he had broken the Tech record until told by the media following the game. He said that getting more playing time has helped him get into a shooting rhythm.
“I think it would be the case for anybody who plays more,” Outlaw said. “You get into a better rhythm…definitely playing more helped me out a lot.”
Outlaw’s last four games have looked like this…
Louisville: 19 points, 5-of-6 three-pointers
Clemson: 8 points, 2-of-5 three-pointers
BC: 16 points, 5-of-5 three-pointers
Miami: 24 points, 8-of-10 three-pointers
Total: 16.7 ppg, 20-of-26 (76.9%) three-pointers
The Hokies made 10 three-pointers, their fifth consecutive game with at least 10 made threes. They also got to the free throw line 26 times, making 18 of them for 69.2%.
“We gave up too many threes and too many free throws,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “Those were the points of emphasis, the two things we wanted to take away.”
Virginia Tech shot 19-of-37 (51.4%) from the field and 10-of-20 (50%) from three-point range. Here are their overall shooting numbers over the last four games…
at Louisville: 29-of-49 (59.2%) FG, 17-of-26 (65.4%) 3-Pt., 15-of-19 (78.9%) FT
vs. Clemson: 26-of-53 (49.1%) FG, 12-of-22 (54.5%) 3-Pt., 7-of-8 (87.5%) FT
at BC: 31-of-46 (67.4%) FG, 12-of-18 (66.7%) 3-Pt., 17-of-20 (80%) FT
vs. Miami: 19-of-37 (51.4%) FG, 10-of-20 (50%) 3-Pt., 18-of-26 (69.2%) FT
Total: 105-of-185 (56.7%) FG, 51-of-86 (59.3% 3-Pt., 57-of-73 (78.1%) FT
“Mathematically, our offense has been superb,” Buzz Williams said.
While the Hokies have been hot offensively in recent games, they haven’t been great defensively. That changed on Monday night when they held Miami to 61 points while limiting them to 42.9% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. For one of the few times since conference play began, you could make the argument that Tech’s defense won the game for them.
Rebounding was also a big part of the win. Although Miami won the battle 26-24, they only had five offensive rebounds, and they came into the game #40 nationally in offensive rebound percentage. They had just five second chance points.
Virginia Tech has one game remaining in the regular season to improve their NCAA Tournament resume. They’ll take on Wake Forest in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday at 4:30pm. The game will be televised by RSN. After that, they’ll depart for Brooklyn and the ACC Tournament.
“We feel really confident,” Ahmed Hill said. “We want to send our seniors – Seth (Allen), Zach (LeDay), Matt (Galloway) and Greg (Donlon) – out with a W.”
Game Notes from Virginia Tech
Ty Outlaw set a new Virginia Tech record with eight three-pointers. The old record was seven, held by several players, most recently Justin Bibbs last season against Grambling State. The eight threes is one off the Cassell Coliseum record of nine three-pointers, set earlier this season by Jordan Chatman of Boston College.
Ty Outlaw scored a career-high 24 points, 12 points in each half. That is his fourth game in double figures and third in the last four game.
The Hokies are now 21-8 overall and 10-7 in the ACC. The 21 overall wins is the most for the Hokies since recording 22 wins in the 2010-11 season. The 10 conference wins ties the most ACC wins for the Hokies in a regular season. Tech was 10-8 last season and 10-6 in the 2009-10 and 2006-07 seasons.
Seth Allen scored 12 points. It is his 20th game this season in double figures.
The Hokies were 10-20 from three-point range. This is the fourth consecutive game shooting 50.0 percent or higher from beyond the arc. It is the fifth time in ACC play that Tech has shot 50.0 percent or better from beyond the arc and the seventh such game this season.
The Hokies have now defeated three top 25 teams this season. This marks the first time since the 2006-07 season that Tech has accomplished that feat. Tech has defeated a nationally-ranked Miami team in Cassell Coliseum for the second consecutive season.
Justin Bibbs passed Shawn Good into 44th place in career scoring at Virginia Tech. Bibbs now has 1,006 career points.
Zach LeDay, who snapped a personal 23 game streak of scoring in double figures, is now 14 points away from 1,000 points as a Hokie.