Hokies come up just short against UVA

Devin Wilson led VT with 13 points, 5 assists, and just 1 turnover.
Devin Wilson led VT with 13 points, 5 assists, and just 1 turnover.

Virginia Tech played well enough to win, but it slipped away down the stretch.  #14 Virginia outscored the Hokies 15-7 in the last four minutes of the game to walk away with a 57-53 win in Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night.  The Hoos improved to 22-5 overall and 13-1 in the ACC, while the Hokies dropped to 9-16 overall and 2-11 in conference play.

Tech led this game from nearly start to finish and held a 46-42 lead with 6:29 left after a free throw from Ben Emelogu.  However, three UVA three-pointers (two by Justin Anderson and one by Joe Harris) down the stretch proved to be the difference.  The Hoos went just 9-of-25 from three-point range for the game, but those final three deep bombs over the final minutes proved to be the difference.

Anderson had made just one three-pointer over his last 20 attempts before he made those two critical shots after the final media timeout.

“It was a hard fought game tonight,” Tech head coach James Johnson said afterwards. “Both teams competed, both teams played hard. That’s what the rivalry games are about. I thought our guys came out ready to play, ready for the intensity of a matchup like that. I thought down the stretch they made plays. They made plays and we didn’t. To be a winning team and be on the streak that they’re on, you find ways to win games. They’ve done it, and they did it again tonight.”

Devin Wilson paced the Hokies with 13 points and five assists.  For the second time this season, he led Tech in scoring against the Hoos.  Joey van Zegeren also added 13 for the Hokies.

With five assists, Wilson is now up to 114 assists for the season.  That passes Hank Thorns (113) for most assists by a Virginia Tech freshman, and Wilson still has the rest of the season to improve on that mark.

Despite the loss, Virginia Tech was in a position to win for the third consecutive game, two of them against nationally ranked opponents (a win against Miami, and losses to Pitt and UVA).  The Hokies are sticking to their 2-3 zone and slowing the game down, and that strategy is putting them in a position to win.

Tech’s next game comes against NC State on Saturday in Cassell Coliseum.  Tipoff is scheduled for 2pm, and the game will be televised by RSN.  You can view the affiliate list by clicking here.

Box Score (HokieSports.com)

10 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. uva missed a lot of shots,but most were un-contestrd shots. Tech doesn’t play good enough defense to beat teams. It will show up bad when a team hits more of their open shots. We don’t get a whole lot of un-contested shots. Play defense.I like our guys hustle,but seems to be mostly from our younger players.

  2. First game I watched this season and you can’t fault the guys for effort. Just not enough talent/playmakers out there right now.

  3. They are still standing around to much on offense and not getting any senior leadership just the opposite when we need Eddie to lead he commits a stupid foul or take a bad shot or turns the ball over! Eddie is a role player not the type that was ever going to be a but the team on my shoulder type of guy I if we had a go too offensive guy he would play better, he is missing Smith!

    1. On offense we run a lot of screens that accomplish nothing other than to get someone open long enough to catch a pass. Inevitably, we end up forcing a shot as the clock winds down. It’s a very frustrating offense to watch.

  4. Devin Wilson will be even better next year because Mueller is going to help run the point. Help is coming next year. In the meantime Wilson and Joey VZ are developing, Thompson is showing some prowess as a rebounder and Barksdale is developing a 3 point shot. Ben E is inconsistent right now but he has been banged up.

  5. They are playing well in zone and it has definitely allowed them to compete. I still wouldn’t mind seeing JJ switch to man, or even some half court traps, for a possession or two towards the end of these close games. You’ve got shot blockers like JVZ/Thompson to protect the rim and it would give a different look and force the other teams offense to adjust.

    1. The biggest problem that our team has is that we don’t have anyone other than Devin Wilson who can penetrate. When he was penetrating early in the game and attacking the basket, the offense actually looked fairly decent. But when he got tired and UVA really started concentrating on keeping him out of the lane, nobody else could step up and fill that role. Neither Raines, Eddie or Barksdale dribbel worth a darn under pressure. The two late possessions where CJ basically fell down in the lane while trying to drive to the basket were critical. We definitely need better shooters on offense, but even more than that I think we need guys with better handles. But it’s encouraging to see that most of our best players are freshmen, and they’ve gotten better as the year has gone along, especially Thopmson and Wilson. I just hope that, out of the four new guys we’ll have coming in next year (Mueller, Hudson, Bibbs and Lang), at least a couple of them are as good at breaking down a defense off the dribble as Wilson is.

      1. Well said. I enjoyed the game last night as they played well w/their limitations. More guys to drive & drop off to JVZ or Thompson if they don’t have shot.

      2. Plus, Adam Smith and a full-speed Emelogu will help. Both of them can penetrate or be at the 3 point line to kick out to.

  6. Took awhile but glad to see JJ changing strategy to that zone to help give the guys a chance to compete. They’ve played much better since converting to it.

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