The Virginia Tech Hokies started out the Wooden Legacy with a dominant win over New Mexico and had a great chance to get a quality win for their resume against Texas A&M. The Hokies were in control for most of the game and seemed set to get a big win, but it’s never over till it’s over and it showed today.
Virginia Tech lost 68-65 to Texas A&M after being up by as much as 17 in the second half with the Aggies going on a 14-2 run to end the game.Virginia Tech will now play in the third-place on Sunday afternoon against the loser of UCLA-Nebraska.
The Hokies were dominant for the first 30-35 minutes of this game but their failure to close was costly and cost the Hokies what would have been a quality win, hurting their NCAA Tournament resume in a way that we may not understand till March if VT ends up on the bubble.
Virginia Tech and Texas A&M both played to their strengths but eventually, the Hokies got cold shooting from beyond the arc while Texas A&M’s size proved to be a big problem as the Hokies were outrebounded 49-30.
Ahmed Hill continues to play quite well for the Hokies as he started off shooting 6-for-8 from beyond the arc but missed his last 3 three-pointers on his way to 18 points and 5 rebounds. Hill continues to be Virginia Tech’s best wing and one of the top players that has to be on the floor in the biggest situations, and at times is the Hokies’ best player.
Justin Robinson has always played well, but his stat line is now showing that more as the sophomore point guard had 14 points and 5 assists with only 2 turnovers. Robinson has a bright future in Blacksburg and right now with the Hokies being able to basically have two different floor generals on the floor at the same time or be rotated in and out with the other being star senior Seth Allen who had 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in what was a solid game for Allen.
Texas A&M’s size seemed to give Zach LeDay issues as the Hokies’ star big man had 8 points and 5 rebounds but shot a poor 4-for-11 from the field in what was not a great game from the senior forward. Ty Outlaw didn’t play much but had a couple big threes and 8 points total while Chris Clarke led the Hokies with 9 rebounds plus 3 points and 3 assists while Khadim Sy was limited to 9 minutes due to foul issues with 2 points and 3 rebounds while Justin Bibbs only had 2 points, 2 assists, and 1 rebound.
The Hokies should have won this game and their resume has been negatively affected with not getting a quality win here, but the Hokies have a couple more opportunities including Sunday in the third-place game and at Michigan next week. If the Hokies can get wins in both of those, they’ll almost certainly go into their New Year’s Eve ACC opener against Duke with only one loss given that they can avoid upsets against teams like Ole Miss and Charleston.
However, the Hokies must also learn how to play against teams with big frontcourts like Texas A&M with the Hokies set to face more big frontcourts in ACC play. If the Hokies can do that, there won’t be any worries about whether the Hokies have enough quality wins to make the NCAA Tournament come Selection Sunday.
Stay up with The Tech Lunch Pail via Twitter and Facebook plus subscribe to our email updates.