The Virginia Tech Hokies suffered a disappointing loss on Friday to the Texas A&M Aggies by three points after being up by as much as 17 in the second half to miss the Wooden Legacy final. However, the Hokies did not let that disappointing loss keep them down and came out ready for a tough game against a quality Nebraska team that tested the Hokies.
While the Cornhuskers showed they have some talent, Virginia Tech proved why expectations are for this team to make the NCAA Tournament.
The Virginia Tech Hokies beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 66-53 after being down 26-23 at halftime thanks to a 43-27 second half. The Hokies have gotten themselves a couple of quality wins in the Wooden Legacy over New Mexico and Nebraska that will be beneficial for their resume with a great chance to add to that resume this week with their ACC-Big 10 Challenge game against Michigan.
The Hokies lost the offensive rebound battle 14-10 but won the overall rebounding battle 38-37 in what was a much better day on the glass while shooting 42% from the field and 44.4% from beyond the arc. Virginia Tech’s defense was also quite good with the Cornhuskers having 14 turnovers (VT had a disappointing 17 turnovers) while holding Nebraska to 29.8% shooting from the field and 19% from beyond the arc.
Zach LeDay was the star of this game with his best performance of the season so far given the quality of the opponent with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 1 steal in what was an impressive game from the senior forward. LeDay was solid against some higher quality frontcourts but against his weakest frontcourt matchup of this tournament, LeDay put together an impressive performance in what was a solid three games for the senior.
Ahmed Hill struggled in the first half to make much of an impact, but Hill got things going in the second half and ended with 12 points while Justin Robinson was also solid with 8 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds with Seth Allen having 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Allen, Robinson, and Hill have emerged as Virginia Tech’s best backcourt trio with Justin Bibbs and Ty Outlaw being quality shooting options that can rotate in.
Bibbs was solid in this game with 8 points and 3 rebounds while Outlaw had 3 points and 2 rebounds in a limited role. Chris Clarke had another solid game with 7 points and 4 rebounds while Khadim Sy had a very quiet day with 2 rebounds in only 11 minutes of action for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech heads straight to Michigan tomorrow as they get ready for Wednesday’s game at Michigan knowing that a win would put them in a good position to enter ACC play with only one loss with every remaining non-conference game being at home after the trip to Ann Arbor.
The Hokies bounced back strongly from their disappointing loss to Texas A&M and picked up a quality win over Nebraska that definitely helps their resume.
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