The Hokies gave it their all, but it wasn’t quite enough as they fell 59-49 to #6 seed Miami in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday night. Tech finished the season with an 11-22 record, while the Hurricanes improved to 21-11 in their fight for an NCAA Tournament bid.
In the regular season, Virginia Tech went 0-2 against Miami and lost by lopsided scores of 76-52 and 82-61. Between the second half of the first meeting and the first half of the second meeting, the Hurricanes outscored the Hokies 93-44. In short, this was a terrible matchup for the Hokies.
However, fresh off a confidence building 81-80 win over Wake Forest in the first round, Virginia Tech came out and played Miami tooth and nail, and the final score was not indicative of how close the game really was. The Hurricanes led at halftime 24-19, but Tech led in both halves of play, and actually had the lead 38-37 with 8:47 remaining after a jumper by Jalen Hudson.
Miami scored to retake the lead on their next possession, but this was still a one-point game until the 5:04 mark when Davon Reed nailed a three-pointer to make the score 47-43. The Hokies managed to keep it close, but the Hurricanes nailed seven free throws in their final four possessions to create the final margin of 10 points.
Overall, there were a total of four ties and 10 lead changes, and both of those stats indicate how competitive this game was.
Ahmed Hill and Adam Smith paced the Hokies with 10 points each, and Hill also led Tech with six rebounds. The freshman added two assists and did not commit a turnover in 23 minutes of action. Senior Christian Beyer, playing in his final college game, had nine points and four rebounds, and made several big shots to keep his team in the game in the second half.
Unfortunately, an off game from freshman guard Justin Bibbs was enough to seal Tech’s fate. Bibbs made VT’s first shot of the game, but finished the game only 2-of-13 from the field, missing many decent looks at the basket. The Hokies shot 21-of-52 (40.4%) for the game, but everybody besides Bibbs was 19-of-39.
It was also another rough game for freshman center Satchel Pierce. Tech’s 7-footer had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks against Miami in the regular season finale. However, he had four fouls in five minutes in the first round game against Wake Forest, and his line against the Hurricanes on Wednesday was two points, no rebounds and four turnovers in 13 minutes of action.
The Hokies turned the ball over just nine times in the game after turning it over only four times in a fast-paced game against Wake Forest. This isn’t a particularly efficient offensive team, but their lack of turnovers over the past two games was enough to beat Wake Forest and keep them in the game until the end against a good Miami team.
Just because the 2014-15 basketball season is over does not mean TSL’s coverage is ending. In the coming days, we’ll have postseason recaps and thoughts on everything from Buzz Williams, to player personnel, to recruiting. Stay tuned.