The final week of 2016 has gone well for the Virginia Tech Hokies highlighted by the Belk Bowl win over Arkansas, but VT had the chance to put the ultimate exclamation point on 2016 if they could upset Duke. Today, the Hokies put an exclamation point on it and then some.
Virginia Tech absolutely annihilated fifth-ranked Duke 89-75 in a game in which the Blue Devils never led and never cut the lead inside double digits in the second half. Virginia Tech proved that they are clearly a top 25 with the win leaving no doubt after an exquisite performance from the Hokies.
The Hokies were absolutely dominant from start to finish in what may have been the Hokies’ best performance in the Buzz Williams era. Virginia Tech brought way more energy while the VT crowd made an impact with Duke missing their first 6 free throw attempts when fans chanted “We Want Grayson”.
Virginia Tech was exceptional on offense shooting 55.2% from the field and going 8-for-13 from beyond the arc while holding Duke to 41.8% from the field and 5-for-16 from deep. The Hokies also only,had 9 turnovers compared to 11 for,Duke,while having more assists 18-8. VT was outrebounded 41-33 including 18-8 on the offensive glass, but the Hokies did a great job of getting great shots, negating the rebounding advantage anf then some.
There were plenty of players that shined and it started with Justin Robinson who played all but one minute and had 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Meanwhile, Robinson’s fellow point guard Seth Allen also played quite well with 14 points and 5 assists while both only had 2 turnovers each.
VT has 2 very good ball handlers and playmakers in Allen and Robinson who can give opponents fits and attack the rim at will to either get a layup, kick the ball out, or draw a foul. Teams are going to have tons of issues issuestrying to contain this talented duo in ACC play.
Justin Bibbs was on fire from beyond the arc going 4-for-5 from three on his way to leading the Hokies with 18 points. Meanwhile, Ahmed Hill had another great game with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists including 2-for-4 from three. Hill has been fantastic while Bibbs looked like the guy who was one of the ACC’s best three-point shooters.
Zach LeDay was productive for the Hokies with 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks while Chris Clarke had 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Khadim Sy played well in 9 minutes with 2 points, 6 rebounds, and a block with Ty Outlaw having a couple rebounds as well.
Luke Kennard was the one player that played well for Duke with 34 points and 7 rebounds but that wasn’t nearly enough as the Hokies were by far the better team and never allowed Duke to get a big run.
For the Hokies, this is a huge run that will launch then well into the top 25 and give them their first signature win of the season. This Virginia Tech team is definitely not going to be anywhere near the bubble and has the potential to push for a top 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Hokies are back to being a team to watch on the national stage and the NCAA Tournament seems certain to end this year and end comfortably. Virginia Tech basketball is truly back now.
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