Virginia Tech played their best 30 minutes of offense this season on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, it came after their worst 10 minutes of offense, and BYU held on to beat the Hokies 70-68. Tech dropped to 12-8 on the season, while the Cougars improved to 18-5.
It looks like BYU is well on their way to making their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, but they certainly got some help from the Hokies in the first 10 minutes of the game. Tech didn’t score until a Jarell Eddie free throw with 13:05 left in the first half, and they didn’t make a field goal until a putback by C.J. Barksdale at the 10:17 mark.
At that point it was 13-3 BYU, and the Hokies were still in the game because of solid defense. Over the next 30 minutes they exploded for 65 points, but Erick Green’s driving layup at the end of the game was blocked, and after the ball rolled free to Jarell Eddie, who kicked it out to Robert Brown, the long three-point attempt by Tech’s freshman guard was just off as the buzzer sounded.
It was a tough loss for Tech, as they held a very good offensive team to 10 points below their season average. BYU was just 33.3% from the field and only 20.8% from three-point range. Tech was 42.9% from the field, including 64% in the second half, but they committed 14 turnovers to BYU’s seven, including two critical turnovers in the final two minutes by Erick Green and Dorenzo Hudson.
Hudson paced Tech off the bench with 14 points. He was 4-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point range. Jarell Eddie continued to improve, setting his career high in rebounding for the second straight game. He had 12 points and 14 boards for Tech, who outrebounded a bigger BYU team 43-37.
Victor Davila finished with 12 points, while Erick Green had 11. However, Green didn’t have his best game, missing all four of his three-point attempts. He didn’t score in the first 20 minutes of play.
This was Virginia Tech’s fifth loss of the season by four or fewer points. Since January 7, four of their five losses have come by four or fewer points.
The Hokies will return to action this Saturday when they travel to Maryland to take on the Terps. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30pm, and the game will be televised by The ACC Network.