Badly needing a win, the Hokies played one of their worst offensive games of the season, falling to Florida State 63-53 in Tallahassee on Sunday afternoon. The loss dropped Tech to 17-13 overall, and they finished 7-9 in ACC play. Tech has now lost six of their last seven games heading into the ACC tournament.
Tech was just 16-of-52 (30.8%) from the field. Playing hurt, Malcolm Delaney scored 13 points, but he was just 4-of-12 from the field and 2-of-7 from three-point range. With Delaney injured, other Hokies needed to step up, but they didn’t.
Jeff Allen had just six points and four rebounds. He attempted just two field goals on the day. A.D. Vassallo led Tech with 14 points, but he was only 4-of-15 from the field. He hit just one of his first 11 shot attempts. Cheick Diakite tried to help out with six points and 11 rebounds, but the lack of production by Tech’s top three players was the nail in the coffin.
Florida State wasn’t impressive offensively either, but Toney Douglas came up with 22 points on his senior day to propel his team to the victory of the Hokies, as well as a first round bye in the ACC Tournament.
As they’ve done recently, the Hokies got off to a slow start offensively. They trailed Florida State 22-9 early in the first meeting, and on Sunday they found themselves down 24-10 following a jumper by Toney Douglas with 5:40 remaining in the first half.
The Hokies went on a run towards the end of the first half, with two free throws by Jeff Allen cutting the FSU lead to 32-25 at halftime. However, even after halftime adjustments they couldn’t find their stroke offensively.
The second half was another defensive half, and the Hokies cut the lead to 45-42 with 7:18 remaining after a free throw by J.T. Thompson. It looked like they were making a second half run, just like they did against Duke and North Carolina. However, they could never tie the game, and Toney Douglas scored five straight points to make the score 50-42 with 6:37 left in the game.
After that, Tech could never get closer than seven points, and they trailed by as many as 13 points before a garbage time three-pointer from A.D. Vassallo made the score 63-53 with just 25 seconds left. After that, Florida State simply ran out the clock to clinch the first round bye in the ACC Tournament.
Virginia Tech will now look to the ACC Tournament, where they will need to make some serious noise if the hope to make the Big Dance. Tech is the #8 seed, and they’ll take on #9 Miami in the opening game of the tournament on Thursday at noon.