Virginia Tech was defeated by Miami 74-68 on the road on Wednesday night. The Hokies dropped to 16-7 on the season, with a 5-6 record in conference play. The Hurricanes improved to 16-7 overall and 6-5 in ACC play.
Tech was led by sophomore point guard Justin Robinson, who finished with 15 points. However, Robinson was issued a technical foul near the end of the game for making contact with an official. He hit a three-pointer that cut the Miami lead to 69-63 with 27 seconds left, and there was contact on the play. No foul was called, and Robinson was displeased, and when the Hokies took a timeout right after the three-pointer, Robinson made contact with the referee in question in Virginia Tech’s ensuing huddle. He did not return to the game, and it remains to be seen whether or not punishment is coming from the ACC.
Since it will get debated at length, and might even lead to a suspension…here's the video. Justin Robinson "pushes" a ref and gets T'd up. pic.twitter.com/CeuPVWLihr
— TechSideline.com (@TechSideline) February 9, 2017
Virginia Tech led for the majority of the first half, until a late 9-0 run by Miami gave the Hurricanes a 40-34 lead at halftime. The ‘Canes then scored the first three points of the second half to extend their lead to 43-34.
The game was back and forth for a bit, but the Hokies made a run to tie the game at 47-47 with 13:46 remaining. Ahmed Hill’s two free throws tied the game, and it seems as if Virginia Tech was back in it despite the latter stages of the first half and the first few possessions of the second half.
However, Miami promptly responded with a 18-2 run capped by a three-pointer by DJ Vasiljevic with 7:13 remaining. The only two points the Hokies scored during that run came on a Robinson layup at the 10:28 mark. Virginia Tech did get back in the game in the final minutes, cutting the Miami lead to as little as six points on two occasions, but it was not enough.
Virginia Tech outshot Miami 47.8% to 45.3%, and the Hurricanes were just 7-of-21 (33.3%) from three-point range. The Hokies were also an impressive 20-of-25 (80%) from the free throw line, but it wasn’t enough. Rebounds were also tied at 32, despite Miami holding a huge advantage statistically coming into the game. Halfcourt offense and turnovers were the real difference in this game.
As today’s game preview stated, Miami had 264 assists and 295 turnovers in 22 games coming into this matchup, while the Hokies had 337 assists and 268 turnovers in 22 games. Those numbers were flipped on Wednesday, with Virginia Tech finishing with 12 assists and 15 turnovers, while Miami had 15 assists and 10 turnovers. Those extra possessions turned out to be the difference.
Zach LeDay had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Clarke added 13 points, Ahmed Hill had 12, and Seth Allen finished with 15. But Tech was just 4-of-13 (30.8%) from three-point range. Miami limited VT’s open three-point jumpers, and with Tech’s lack of size in the paint, the Hokies struggled offensively for much of the night.
Virginia Tech returns home to host #12 Virginia on Sunday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30pm, and the game will be televised by ESPNU.