Virginia Tech defeated UVA in Blacksburg back in January, but this time things didn’t go quite as smoothly. The Hokies ran into a hot UVA team that was playing its best defense of the season, and the result was a 67-49 defeat in a game that was never close. The Hoos improved to 20-4 overall and 9-3 in the ACC, while Tech dropped to 13-12 overall and 5-7 in league play.
UVA has now won seven games in a row, and their previous three games were indicators of the type of defense Virginia Tech was about to face.
at Louisville: 63-47 W
vs. Boston College: 61-47 W
at Pitt: 64-50 W
Though the Hokies managed to score more points than Louisville and Boston College, this one was never a contest. Two of Tech’s first three baskets were on broken plays rather than in the set offense, and they didn’t make their second shot until the 11:08 mark of the first half. At that point it was only 9-4 UVA, as the Hokies were playing great defense in their own right, but eventually things broke down on that end of the court as well, as Tech became frustrated with their own offensive showing.
The Hokies shot just 35.6% from the field and committed 15 turnovers. UVA committed only 10 turnovers and shot 49% from the floor. The Hoos outscored Tech 21-9 off turnovers. In the January 4 meeting, it was Virginia Tech who outscored their in-state rival 26-6 in points off turnovers. That statistic, along with UVA’s suffocating defense, was the difference in the game.
Zach LeDay played just 17 minutes because of foul trouble. He picked up three offensive fouls in the first half, and then was whistled for his fourth foul on his first possession of the second half. He finished with just seven points and four rebounds.
There was only one bright side for the Hokies, and that was the play of two of their freshmen. Justin Robinson finished with a team-high 16 points. He was 4-of-5 from the field and made both of his three-point attempts in 26 minutes of action. Chris Clarke played in his first ACC game of the season following a fracture of his fifth metatarsal. In just 13 minutes on the court, he had 11 points, four rebounds and two steals, and gave Tech more energy than anyone else on the roster.
Other than that, it was a long night for Tech. Justin Bibbs had just four points, and at one point he had to be helped off the court because of an apparent ankle injury, though he did return for the second half. Jalen Hudson was just 2-of-8 from the field and missed a wide open dunk. To add insult to injury, he was whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim on the miss, as he tried to corral the ball. Seth Allen was only 3-of-9 from the field in 30 minutes.
The Hokies will get a long rest before their next game. They will be off this weekend before playing at Miami next Wednesday night at 9pm. Tipoff is scheduled for 9pm, and the game will be televised by RSN. Check your local listings.