The Virginia Tech Hokies ended their long road trip with a true road game in Ann Arbor, Michigan against the Michigan Wolverines as a part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. For the Hokies and Michigan, this was the potential to pick up another quality win for their respective resumes with this game being particularly important for the Hokies given how their non-conference schedule is fairly weak.
At the beginning, the Hokies looked like a team at the end of a long road trip, exhausted and out of gas, but Virginia Tech has proven to be a tough, gritty team and that showed tonight.
After being down double-digits in the first half and nine at halftime, the Hokies slowly but steadily fought back and picked up a huge victory on the road over Michigan 73-70. This win gives the Hokies a big resume builder and makes it completely reasonable to believe that Virginia Tech will enter ACC play with only one loss from non-conference play.
The Hokies were able to win the rebounding battle 28-26 while the Hokies shot an impressive 19-for-21 from the free-throw line with the Wolverines shooting only 4-for-7 from the charity stripe. Michigan started 5-for-7 from deep but went 5-for-20 from deep after which helped the Hokies get back in it while Virginia Tech also shot 6-for-14 from deep along with having only 5 second half turnovers compared to 9 in the first half.
Zach LeDay was the star for the Hokies once again leading the Hokies with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal while shooting a strong 8-for-9 from the free-throw line. LeDay has reminded Hokie fans over the past two games that he is the star of this team and definitely has the talent to receive some sort of All-ACC recognition at the end of the season.
LeDay continues to also play well against bigger frontcourts once again as his toughness and physical style along with his solid ball handling has made him one of the ACC’s top big men.
Seth Allen had 10 points including 5 big points down the stretch that helped the Hokies take a four-point lead that Virginia Tech would not relinquish in the final minute of the game. Allen was clutch for the Hokies down the stretch and has continued to be someone that can step up for the Hokies in the biggest moments and make those critical shots.
Justin Robinson continues to show how he has made a lot of improvement this season with 11 points, 4 assists, and 1 steal. Justin Bibbs had 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists including a big three-pointer to start the 8-0 run that helped VT take the lead right at the end. Chris Clarke had 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists while Khadim Sy had 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal with Ahmed Hill having 7 points and 4 rebounds plus fouling out with over 4 minutes to go.
For the Hokies, this is a great win not only for their resume but also for this team’s confidence to go on the road to a hostile environment against another NCAA Tournament-quality team at the end of a long road trip that included two solid wins over New Mexico and Nebraska. The Hokies will be once again approaching the top 25 with a very good chance of entering ACC play with only one loss with Ole Miss being the only power conference opponent remaining and all of Virginia Tech’s remaining non-conference games being at home.
Virginia Tech’s comeback was quite impressive and gives the Hokies the big resume-building win over a non-conference team that they were looking for.