Rebounding and second chance points were again Virginia Tech’s downfall in a 76-52 loss at Miami on Wednesday night. The Hokies dropped to 10-16 overall and 2-11 in the ACC with the loss, while the Hurricanes improved to 17-9 and 7-6.
Tech trailed just 29-26 at halftime after a late Justin Bibbs three-pointer cut the deficit in half. However, the Hokies got off to a slow start in the second half and could never recover. Their lack of rebounding was the main culprit, as usual. They were outrebounded 40-19 by Miami, and Hurricane center Tonye Jekiri had nearly as many rebounds (15) as the entire Tech team. Jekiri entered the game as the ACC leader in rebounds.
Miami missed 25 field goals during the game and came away with 13 offensive rebounds. They had a whopping 19 second chance points, to just three for Virginia Tech. Devin Wilson led the team with four rebounds, and no other VT player had more than two.
The Hokies also had a down night from the outside, connecting on just 7-of-21 from three-point range. While Tech can be a dangerous team because of their outside ability, their inability to score inside and from mid-range means that this is a very limited team offensively when their outside jumper isn’t falling. After making their first two three-pointers to jump out to a 6-0 lead, the Hokies were just 5-of-19 the rest of the way.
Though Justin Bibbs did score in double figures (11), he was just 3-of-9 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free throw line, continuing his shooting slump. Adam Smith led all Hokies with 15 points, while Devin Wilson added 11.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Saturday when they travel to NC State. Tipoff is scheduled for 6pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.