Virginia Tech lost a heartbreaker on Saturday night, falling to Boston College 67-66 on a last second tip-in. The loss dropped the Hokies to 14-7 overall and 4-3 in the ACC. Boston College improved to 17-6 and 5-3 with the win.
Tech trailed almost the entire game, but two free throws from A.D. Vassallo put them up 66-65 with just over 14 seconds remaining. Boston College called a timeout, and Tyrese Rice got the final shot. His field goal attempt missed, but Rakim Sanders came slicing in from the wing to tip the shot in with 0.4 seconds remaining. The Hokies tried a full court heave, but BC knocked the ball out of bounds, ending the game.
A.D. Vassallo led the Hokies with 21 points, all of which came in the second half. Vassallo didn’t start the game because of his outburst towards Seth Greenberg on the bench during the second half of Thursday night’s game against Clemson. He played 28 minutes against BC, but he normally averages 37.7 minutes in ACC games. His lack of minutes arguably cost the Hokies the game.
Jeff Allen was Virginia Tech’s best player for most of the night. After scoring 30 points against the Eagles earlier this year, he followed that up with a 23-point, 11-rebound performance on Saturday night. Allen was 7-of-16 from the field and 9-of-13 from the free throw line.
Malcolm Delaney had 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. However, he had just four points in the first half. With Vassallo not scoring in the first half, and with Delaney scoring just four points, the Hokies went into halftime trailing 23-21.
The second half was more productive offensively for both teams. Virginia Tech trailed for the majority of the half, though they did manage to tie the game on two occasions. With 51 seconds left in the game, Vassallo stepped to the line and nailed two free throws that put the Hokies ahead 64-62. After trailing nearly the entire game, there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
Tyrese Rice quickly erased that lead. Rice nailed a leaning floater to tie the game, and was fouled on the shot attempt by J.T. Thompson. He hit the free throw attempt, putting BC up 65-64 with 38 seconds left in the game.
The Hokies inbounded and called a timeout with 17 seconds remaining. Out of the timeout, A.D. Vassallo drove the left side of the lane and put up a running layup attempt. It was no good, but he was fouled, sending him to the line for two free throws. Once again Vassallo hit both free throws, putting the Hokies up 66-65 with just 13 seconds left.
BC put the ball in the hands of Tyrese Rice for the game-winner. Rice drove the lane and pulled up for the jumper, but it was off. However, Rakim Sanders came streaking in from the right wing to tip-in the game-winning shot with just 0.4 seconds left. Tech’s hail mary attempt was batted down, and the game ended.
It was fitting for the Hokies to lose on a last second tip-in. They allowed 15 offensive rebounds by Boston College, just two days after Clemson had 20 offensive rebounds.
Virginia Tech will take the week off before returning to action next Sunday, February 8, against NC State. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30pm, and the game will be televised by Raycom.