Seth Allen scored 31 points, but it wasn’t enough to prevent #3 seed Miami from downing the Hokies 88-82 on Thursday night in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals. The Hurricanes advance to the semifinals with a 25-6 record, while the Hokies will await their postseason fate at 19-14.
Allen was 7-of-14 from the field and an impressive 17-of-18 from the free throw line. His 17 made free throws tied an ACC Tournament game record. He averaged 25.5 points in his two ACC Tournament games, and went a total of 27-of-30 from the charity stripe.
Jalen Hudson and Zach LeDay added 12 points apiece for the Hokies, who shot 49.1% from the field as a team. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to overcome a pair of r-seniors: Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan.
Rodriguez scored 19 points and dished out nine assists to go along with three steals, while McClellan had 21 points. The two super seniors combined to go 13-of-22 from the field and 6-of-12 from three-point range. They helped the Hurricanes shoot a scorching hot 56.6% from the field. This time Miami was more prepared for Tech’s matchup zone, and the results showed in the box score.
Turnovers also doomed the Hokies to their first loss in their last seven games. Tech committed 14 turnovers, including three travels and three other occasions where they dribbled the ball off their feet. Miami converted those turnovers into 26 points, while the Hokies scored just 12 points off 10 ‘Cane turnovers.
Miami held a 31-21 lead at the 4:01 mark of the first half, and things weren’t looking good for Virginia Tech. However, the Hokies closed the half on an 11-2 run, and just missed holding the lead when a Justin Bibbs jumper rimmed out at the end of the half. It was 33-32 Miami at the intermission.
On Tech’s first possession of the second half, Bibbs nailed a mid-range jumper to give the Hokies a 34-33 lead. Unfortunately, that lead was to be short-lived. Angel Rodriguez scored a quick 11 points, including a trio of three-pointers, and the Hurricanes jumped back out to a 56-42 lead with 13:34 left in the game.
The Hokies battled their way back into the game using the free throw line. Tech was 28-of-31 (90.3%) from the charity stripe, and two Seth Allen free throws cut the lead to 76-70 with 1:19 left. However, Miami also went 20-of-26 from the free throw line, and their clutch shooting down the stretch was able to fend off a game Tech rally. The Hokies did outrebound a bigger Miami team 28-23, but it wasn’t enough.
Virginia Tech is eligible for postseason play for the first time since 2011. The Hokies are projected to play in the NIT in three online brackets…
The Bracket Matrix: #6 seed before Wednesday’s win over FSU
DRatings.com: #3 seed before Thursday’s loss to Miami
NYCBuckets.com: #3 seed before Thursday’s loss to Miami
The NIT Selection Show will be aired by ESPNU on Sunday night at 8:30pm.