Virginia Tech lost a tough 102-95 contest to Miami in triple overtime on Wednesday night in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies dropped to 15-11 overall and 6-9 in the ACC with the loss, while the Hurricanes improved to 14-12 and 6-10. The ‘Canes won their third consecutive game after being ravaged by injuries earlier in the season.
The lead changed hands eight times during the course of the game, and there were 11 ties. The Hokies trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half and also by as many as 12 in the second half, but they rallied in the second half and had a chance to win. In fact, Tech held a lead late in regulation, overtime and the second overtime, but couldn’t manage to close out the game.
“They give us everything in their tank every time they go on the floor, we just didn’t have that pop in the first half,” Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young said. “Miami is good, they are playing good basketball, it’s hard to keep them out of the lane. Rodney Miller is a load in there and Keith Stone had a very nice game for them. We popped back in the second half to compete and I thought we were very good in a number of areas. I can’t ask anymore, I just hate to lose it.”
In regulation, the Hokies led 77-74 before Kameron McGusty hit a layup with 13 seconds left. Redshirt freshman Tyrece Radford, who was spectacular otherwise, fouled him on the play. McGusty hit the free throw to tie the game, and Radford’s last second shot attempt was blocked.
In the first overtime, the Hokies jumped out to an 84-80 lead before freshman guard Isaiah Wong made two late shots to force a second overtime. The first came with 51 seconds remaining, and the second came with just six seconds left on the clock. A last second shot attempt by Jalen Cone was no good, and the teams went to a second overtime.
A shot by Radford tied the game at 88 with 1:20 to play, and then Wabissa Bede gave the Hokies the lead 90-88 on a runner with just 32 seconds to play. However, it was Wong again with a jumper in the paint to tie the game with 16 seconds left, and a jumper from Radford to win the game was no good in the final seconds. The Hokies couldn’t manage to get a lead in the third overtime, and Miami gradually pulled away to win the game.
Wong, who has been dominant for the Hurricanes in recent weeks, had 27 points and 12 rebounds. Chris Lykes, Miami’s leading scorer who has missed much of this season with an injury, had 23. Kameron McGusty, the ‘Canes third-leading scorer who has also missed a lot of time, had 21.
“They have guys from the one to the five that can score the ball in a one-versus-one situation,” freshman guard Jalen Cone said. “[They have] guys that can shoot the ball and get to the hoop at will. And a guy like Chris Lykes, who is one of the toughest guys I’ve had to guard. We’re not going to harp on it — we’ll just get back to work. We came off a five-game losing streak and take the positives and move on.”
Radford and Landers Nolley both had double-doubles, with Radford finishing with 26 points and 10 rebounds. He also had three steals, two assists and a block. His night was highlighted by a floater from behind the basket that he managed to get to go in, though the shot should not have counted by NCAA rules (all three officials apparently forgot about that rule).
Nolley was 9-of-10 from the free throw line and finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but he suffered another bad shooting night, going just 4-of-21 from the field and 1-of-8 from three-point range. Cone had 20 points in 36 minutes.
The Hokies wasted a masterful performance from the free throw line, going 24-of-28 as a team for 85.7%. However, it was wasted in part because of Miami’s own free throw performance. The ‘Canes were 29-of-32 (90.6%) from the charity stripe, and amazingly did not miss a free throw until the third overtime period.
Virginia Tech will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Durham to take on the Duke Blue Devils. Tipoff is scheduled for 8pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.
Selected Notes From Virginia Tech
- This triple-overtime loss marks the first time since 1983 that Tech has gone into a third overtime. Tech lost to West Virginia 90-86.
- This is the first triple-overtime game in the ACC since Wake Forest and North Carolina in 2003.
- Tyrece Radford and Landers Nolley’s double-doubles marked the first time two Tech players have notched double-doubles in the same game since Kerry Blackshear and Chris Clarke against The Citadel in 2017.
- Radford scored a career-high 26 points and registered his third double-double of the season with 10 rebounds.
- John Ojiako notched a career-high five blocks and also added six boards.