Both Virginia Tech and Clemson have been starting to creep towards the bubble with the Tigers being a loss away from being square on it after a 1-5 start in ACC play. This game had all the makings of a very close, competitive game but in the end, the Hokoes were able to get a big win.
Seth Allen hit a big 3 and the Hokies went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the 35 seconds to beat Clemson 82-81 in a game in which the Tigers never had a chance to tie in the closing seconds and made it a one-point loss with a buzzer-beater three from Avry Holmes.
The Hokies improved to 15-4 overall and 4-3 in ACC play to stay comfortably in the NCAA Tournament while the Tigers have moved onto the bubble as they fall to 11-8 overall and 1-6 in ACC play after a brutal stretch of games.
Free-throw shooting was critical,for the Hokies as they went an impressive 16-for-17 from the line while Clemson went a poor 6-for-11, showing the value of free throws in ACC play. VT shot 54.7% from the field compared to 48.4% for Clemson but the Tigers got more second chance opportunities with 9 offensive rebounds to 5 for VT while also making 13-of-27 threes compared to VT making 8-of-21 threes.
Seth Allen was the star for the Hokies in this game as he had 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half, plus 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block plus only 1 turnover. Allen has been playing the best basketball of his collegiate career lately along with once again being very efficient as he went 6-for-10 from the field including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Allen has taken his game to another level this year and is playing like the star point guard that people knew he had the potential to be when he transferred,from Maryland.
Zach LeDay was also quite productive as he had 16 points and 5 rebounds in what was another strong performance for the undersized forward. LeDay continues to be quite consistent on the offensive end while making big things happen in important moments.
Ahmed Hill had 11 points and 3 rebounds in what was a solid game while Th Outlaw had a strong stint with 8 points and 4 rebounds with Justin Bibbs having 9 points and 4 rebounds including the last 2 free throws that made a big difference. Hill and Bibbs didn’t have great days from 3 but the duo are showing some signs of life while Outlaw made both of his threes in what was one of his best games of the season.
Chris Clarke had a down night for himself but was still decent with 8 points and 6 rebounds though he did have a disappointingly high 4 turnovers. Meanwhile, Justin Robinson had 8 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals for a solid night with Khadim Sy having 5 points and 3 rebounds.
For the Hokies, this is a big road win against a quality opponent that may be their second best win in ACC play. This sets up a big showdown on Thursday night in Chapel Hill between two of the ACC’s top 6 teams with the Hokies being a 2-0 week next week away from a return to the top 25 though the challenge looming at UNC will be immense.
Stay up with The Tech Lunch Pail for the latest on the Hokies via Facebook and Twitter plus subscribe to our email updates.