It’s hard to win back-to-back games with a full bench and a good matchup. Unfortunately, the Hokies didn’t have the luxury of either and lost their ACC quarterfinal game against Florida State, 74-68.
Virginia Tech entered the game having played a tough game against Wake Forest the night prior. In addition to having to play a seven-player rotation, Tech had to deal with an ankle injury to their best point guard, Justin Robinson. Florida State, being one of the deepest teams in the country, outlasted the Hokies. The Seminoles has 12 players register minutes, with 9 of them scoring at least one basket.
The Hokies either led the game or were tied for the first 22 minutes of the game, before Florida State took their first lead of the game at the 18:06 mark in the 2nd half. The 2nd half was a game of runs for the Seminoles, as they went on both 10 and 13-point runs. Both times, it seemed to demoralize the tired and short-benched Hokies.
Even though they were tired, beat up, and looking beat, the Hokies never gave up. It wasn’t until a costly Bibbs turnover that led to Zach LeDay’s 4th foul that the game truly turned in favor for Florida State. LeDay sat on the bench, and watched helplessly as freshman big-man Khadim Sy committed two straight turnovers, leading to four quick points for the Seminoles. It was at that point that Buzz Williams called his final timeout to get LeDay back in the game, but the damage was done by that point.
Virginia Tech was shooting very well in the first half, especially from three, as they connected on seven shots from long range. It was the complete opposite in the 2nd half though, as they only made one – a late game three from Justin Robinson. Virginia Tech finished 8-25 from long range, very similar to their last loss at the hands of Wake Forest, where they went 8-26. If the Hokies had connected on just a couple more in the 2nd half, there might have been a very different result in Brooklyn.
In the long run, this isn’t a terrible loss for Buzz Williams and his team. They reached double-digit losses in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. In year 3 of the coaching tenure for Williams, that’s extremely impressive. Virginia Tech is already comfortably into the NCAA Tournament. They won’t have to sweat it out on Selection Sunday, wondering if they did enough during the ACC Tournament to get in. They now get to go home, get some extra rest, get any nagging injuries dealt with, and find out who they play in a week.
Points: LeDay with 22
Assists: Robinson with 6
Rebounds: Leday with 9