Virginia Tech played a terrible first half and lost to Miami 82-61 in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies dropped to 10-21 overall and 2-16 in the ACC. Miami improved to 20-11 overall and 10-8 as they continued their quest to make the NCAA Tournament.
The Hurricanes outscored Tech 46-18 in the first half of the game. In the second half of the first meeting between these two teams, Miami outscored the Hokies 47-26. That’s a 93-44 advantage over 40 minutes of basketball.
“Really bad. Really similar to the first half against Boston College,” Buzz Williams said. “No good. Not good enough. That’s not what we want to be about as a program.”
For the second game in a row, Tech faltered after their opponent took an early lead and didn’t fight to get back into the game late in the first half.
“My answer right now would be 100% [of the first half was about energy].” Williams said. “I’m encouraged by how we played in the second half…but however encouraged I am by that in the second half, I’m that discouraged by the first half.”
The Hokies outscored Miami 43-36 over the final 20 minutes, and even started off on a 10-2 run. However, that wasn’t enough to overcome a terrible first half in which Miami made 10-of-15 three-point shots, most of which were wide open.
Ahmed Hill led Tech with 17 points while going 6-of-11 from the field. He was 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Satchel Pierce played his best game in at least two months, finishing with a career-high 13 points. He also had seven rebounds and two blocks. The Hokies were outrebounded by Miami only 31-27 despite being beaten on the boards 40-19 in the first meeting.
However, Adam Smith only scored three points on 1-of-6 shooting, and Miami crushed the Hokies so badly in the first half that it really didn’t matter who played well over the final 20 minutes.
Buzz Williams had an interesting quote after the game, which I’ll post below…
“Those are the decisions we have to make. You don’t want to make it emotionally. And you don’t want to make it without evidence. And I talked to our team about that on Thursday before we got back together. You don’t want to do things based on opinion, you want to do things based on facts. Obviously there’s some evidence over the last week of the season of what’s been good and what’s been bad.”
Buzz didn’t specify exactly which decisions needed to be made, but he later added that he was going recruiting immediately after the postgame interviews were concluded. It would also not be surprising to see him attend the National JUCO Tournament, which begins in nine days. It seems apparent that he is going to make an effort to upgrade the talent level of the program this spring.
Virginia Tech will be the #14 seed in the ACC Tournament. They will take on #11 seed Wake Forest on Tuesday afternoon at approximately 3:30pm. The game can be seen on The ACC Network.