Virginia Tech trailed the entire game, had a chance to tie it near the end, but ultimately fell short in a 63-59 loss to Florida State in Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night. The Hokies dropped to 11-5 overall with the loss, and 0-2 in the ACC. Florida State is now 10-6 overall, and 1-1 in league play.
Erick Green had a chance to tie the game at 61 with eight seconds remaining, but his shot from the lane was just off, and the Noles hit their final two free throws to ice the game. Green hit many big free throws and shots down the stretch to keep the Hokies in it, finishing with 21 points while making all 10 of his free throws.
In the end, shooting, size and experience did in the Hokies. They shot just 30.5% from the field against a team that has finished #1 in the country in the field goal percentage defense the last two years.
Tech lacks post players with the injury to J.T. Thompson and the heart condition of Allan Chaney, and they were forced to use small forward Jarell Eddie in the post to guard 6-10 Bernard James and 6-11 Xavier Gibson. James finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds. FSU also plays five seniors extensive minutes, and because of their size and experience advantage, they proved to be a bad matchup for the Hokies.
Tech played good defense against the Noles, holding them to 41.2% from the field, and the Hokies also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds. However, FSU blocked an amazing 15 shots, many from point blank range, in a major display of their size advantage.
On the bright side, Dorian Finney-Smith got back to playing well, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds. He was more assertive with the basketball, which is what Seth Greenberg wanted.
Unfortunately for the Hokies, Dorenzo Hudson is still battling his partial meniscus tear and scored just eight points. Hudson’s backup, freshman Robert Brown, didn’t score in 14 minutes. Freshman guard Marquis Rankin had two bad turnovers in five minutes of action, and wasn’t ready for FSU’s physical defense, so there were no other options to put on the court with Hudson ineffective.
Freshman C.J. Barksdale had to play 18 minutes, because r-sophomore Cadarian Raines fouled out in 18 minutes of action. Barksdale gave Tech a spark, finishing with seven points and three rebounds, but he couldn’t handle the physical play of 26-year old senior Bernard James.
Fortunately the Hokies have a much better matchup on Saturday when they play at Boston College. The Eagles are struggling, and playing numerous freshman this season. We’ll have more on that game and the basketball team in general later in the week. Tip-off is scheduled for 3pm, and the game will be televised by RSN. Check your local listings.