Virginia Tech went on a long scoring drought to close the game, falling 61-59 at home to UVA. Tech dropped to 15-13 overall and 4-9 in the ACC with the loss, while UVA improved to 21-6 and 8-5.
This is a game Virginia Tech led and controlled for most of the way, and until the final 13 minutes, it was one their most impressive offensive games of the season. Until the final 13 minutes, that is. Erick Green made a layup at the 13 minute mark, but Tech failed to hit another field goal until Green made another layup with 38 seconds remaining. There were free throws thrown in the mix, but Tech’s halfcourt offense was non-existent to close the game.
Erick Green paced the Hokies with 19 points, but he was the only player to score in double figures. Dorenzo Hudson had nine points, while Dorian Finney-Smith and Marquis Rankin had eight points each.
Despite the lack of scoring down the stretch, Virginia Tech was actually in the game at the end. Virginia Tech inbounded the ball from in front of their own bench with 17 seconds remaining, but failed to get a shot off, turning it over at the top of the key with 1.9 seconds left in the game.
Yet again, free throw shooting was a problem for Tech down the stretch. The normally reliable Erick Green missed two of them over the final 2:02, and Dorenzo Hudson missed one as well.
The loss is particularly disappointing because the Hokies reached the 47 point mark with 14:50 left in the game. 47 points is what they scored the entire 40 minutes of basketball in Charlottesville. Up until that last 13 minutes, it was Tech’s finest offensive performance against the packline defense in six meetings with Tony Bennett, but then things went south. The Hokies led by as many as eight points in the second half, but couldn’t close out the home win.
Though offense was a major issue, Tech was poor defensively as well. It was a slow-paced game, which held the scoring down, but the Hoos shot 59.9% from the field and 40% from three-point range. The Hokies were also beaten on the boards 24-21, and no Tech player had more than four rebounds.
Mike Scott had 20 points and nine rebounds for UVA.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Saturday when they play at Duke. Tip-off is scheduled for noon, and the game will be televised by The ACC Network.