The Virginia Tech Hokies traveled to South Bend to face an injury-plagued Fighting Irish team tonight and came away with the victory, 80-75, behind 20 points from Justin Bibbs and a double-double from Chris Clarke.
Coming off their huge win against No. 10 North Carolina, the Hokies shot the ball very well on the road, shooting 29-57 (51%) from the floor and 14-25 (56%) from behind the three-point arc.
Justin Bibbs had arguably his best shooting game of the season, shooting 8-10 from the field and making all four of his three pointers. Bibbs also added five assists while Chris Clarke had one of his best games of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 rebounds as well as adding four assists. This was Clarke’s third double-double of the season, his first since December 2 at Ole Miss. He’s averaging 8.6 ppg and 7 rebounds per game.
The Hokies managed to keep the game alive even though big man Kerry Blackshear Jr. fouled out with four minutes to go in the game. Blackshear Jr. had a hard time scoring tonight, scoring nine points on 2-6 shooting and adding three rebounds in 27 minutes tonight, but that was in part due to him getting in foul trouble.
Justin Robinson had another excellent game as the Hokies’ floor general scored 12 points, had 7 assists and did not have a single turnover in the game. Robinson had 19 points, four assists, and one turnover against the Tar Heels on Monday night. Nickeil Alexander-Walker also played well after a strong performance Monday, scoring 11 points, including 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc, and grabbing 5 rebounds in 31 minutes of play.
The last starter, Ahmed Hill, scored his 9 points from shooting 3-6 from beyond the arc, just like Alexander-Walker. This was not Hill’s best overall game of the season but he stepped up in the moments when the team needed him most.
Coming off the bench, Tyrie Jackson gave Tech a big spark as he scored a dunk and hit a three in the six minutes he played. Wabissa Bede only played four minutes and did not score, while Devin Wilson played five minutes and scored one basket. P.J. Horne played three minutes and did not score but gave Chris Clarke and Blackshear Jr. a break down low.
Overall, this win over the Fighting Irish is a quality win for the Hokies. Virginia Tech improves to 15-6 on the season, 4-4 in the ACC, thanks to this win. Virginia Tech is now on a two-game win streak going into Chestnut Hill on Wednesday to face a Boston College team that has been sneaky good at home. A win on Wednesday would give the Hokies a huge confidence booster going into a home game next Saturday against Miami.