Virginia Tech was defeated by Notre Dame 83-81 in a close, hard fought game in South Bend on Wednesday night. The Hokies dropped to 12-7 overall and 4-2 in the ACC, while the Irish improved to 13-5 and 4-2.
It was a frustrating loss for the Hokies, who led for 25:36 of the contest, including most of the second half. In the end, poor second half defense was their undoing. Notre Dame shot 54.8% in the second half. Tech’s ball screen defense was good for the first 20 minutes, but left a lot to be desired in the second half.
Four Hokies scored in double figures…
Zach LeDay: 22 points
Seth Allen: 20 points, 8 assists
Justin Bibbs: 12 points
Shane Henry: 11 points
Unfortunately, a very good offensive performance could not overcome a Notre Dame team that ranked #6 nationally in offensive efficiency coming into the game.
Virginia Tech led 45-37 at halftime. Seth Allen was fouled near the halfcourt line with 0.2 seconds remaining on a halfcourt heave, which led to three free throw makes. That gave the Hokies the momentum heading into the intermission.
However, Notre Dame steadily chipped into Tech’s in the second half. The Hokies led by six points at the first media timeout, they held a three-point lead at the second media timeout, and the game was tied after the under 4-minute timeout. Still, the Hokies led for the majority of the second half.
Despite Notre Dame’s rally, the Hokies held a 75-73 lead with 3:37 remaining following two Seth Allen free throws. However, the Irish took their first lead of the second half on the following possession. Demetrius Jackson drove the lane and hit a layup, and was fouled by Zach LeDay. The replay showed that LeDay’s feet were set under the basket, but the call went against the Hokies, and Jackson made the frree throw attempt to give his team a 76-75 lead.
Virginia Tech never led again, though the game came down to the final shot. After Jackson missed a shot with 10 seconds left, Seth Allen pushed the ball down the court quickly, and found himself wide open for a three-pointer from the top of the key. The shot went halfway down the cylinder, but rimmed out, and Notre Dame held on for the win.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Sunday night when they host #2 UNC. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30pm, and the game will be televised by ESPNU.