The Virginia Tech Hokies travelled to Conte Forum today knowing that they needed to take care of business against the Boston College Eagles in what was their last game against a team that could hand them a bad loss. Boston College proved tough early, but the Hokies kept fighting and eventually pulled away to their biggest blowout of ACC play.
Virginia Tech took care of business in Boston beating Boston College to go to 20-8 on the season with a 9-7 record in the ACC while the Eagles dropped to 9-20 with a 2-14 ACC record that includes 12-straight losses. For the Hokies, the win means that have no bad losses (no losses currently to a team outside even the RPI top 100 and 0 for sure to a team outside the RPI top 150) with a resume that means it’s inevitable that the Hokies will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007.
Virginia Tech had a disappointing 19 turnovers today with Seth Allen not having a great day 8 turnovers and Zach LeDay having 4 of his own but outside of that, the Hokies were dominant in just about every other facet of the game.
The Hokies shot an impressive 67.4% from the field, and went 12-for-18 from beyond the arc and 17-for-20 from the free-throw line while holding Boston College under 40% from three-point range and only 50% from the field. VT also forced 12 turnovers while having 18 assists and outrebounding Boston College 27-18 but getting outrebounded on the offensive glass 4-3, which isn’t a bad margin for the Hokies given their lack of size.
Zach LeDay was dominant in the post in this game leading the Hokies with 18 points and 7 rebounds while shooting an impressive 7-for-9 from the field. LeDay did have those 4 turnovers, but the senior forward has started to play his best basketball down the stretch and is once again showing why he is one of the faces of this team.
Ty Outlaw has taken off since seeing his playing time increase due to Chris Clarke’s injury and shined today with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and no turnovers while going 5-for-5 from beyond the arc. Outlaw’s strong shooting and overall play has been a big boost for the Hokies and a reason why they are playing some of their best basketball now despite the absence of Clarke.
Justin Robinson also had a big day with his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 11 assists and 1 very impressive block with those 11 assists being one short of tying the Virginia Tech single-game record. Robinson has been moving the ball quite well and has been emerging as the Hokies’ top passer over Seth Allen especially after having 11 assists today.
Seth Allen had some struggles today as the senior point guard had 8 turnovers but he still didn’t have too bad of a day with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals as Allen was able to get to the rim consistently. Justin Bibbs shot the ball well from deep going 4-from-6 from beyond the arc on his way to having 13 points and 4 rebounds including having 7 points in the span of about a minute to blow the game wide open.
Ahmed Hill was quiet in the second half after leading the Hokies with 10 first half points but Hill was quite efficient going 5-for-6 from the field and having 12 points on the game. Khadim Sy had a decent day with 4 points and 3 rebounds while Matt Galloway got a few minutes of action in this game and had a foul.
The Hokies have shot the ball significantly better from beyond the arc lately breaking out of the slump almost immediately after Chris Clarke went down for the season. As a whole, the Hokies have seemed to step their games up since the Clarke injury and that along with improved three-point shooting has VT playing some of the best basketball that they’ve played all season at the right time.
With this win, the Hokies have avoided having a bad loss on their resume with it being basically inevitable now that Virginia Tech will play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 with a great chance to get back in the top 25 if they can take down Miami and Wake Forest next week.