Virginia Tech fell 102-95 in a three overtime heartbreaker to Miami. Despite double-doubles from both Landers Nolley and Tyrece Radford, Virginia Tech was unable to put the game away when they had the opportunities to do so.
Despite leads by the Hokies in the last minute of regulation, first overtime, and second overtime, Miami walked out of Cassell Coliseum victorious. It was a tough result for a team who desperately needed a win to improve their NIT hopes.
The Hokies struggled to get their offense going in the early part of the game, and turnovers by way of an offensive foul and a travel in the first three minutes did not help matters.
At the first media timeout, Virginia Tech had scored just two points, and they trailed by seven. After the break, though, back-to-back three pointers from Wabissa Bede and Hunter Cattoor gave their Hokies their first signs of life.
That spark seemed to do the trick for the Hokies offense. They began to generate much better looks on offense, and they took their first lead of the game at 20-17 with a Hunter Cattoor three at about the ten minute mark.
Unfortunately for the Hokies, the defense began to struggle just as the offense started playing well. Miami used an 11-2 run from the 8:50 to the 6:23 mark to take a 28-22 lead at the under eight media timeout.
Later in the half, Radford drove the ball against Miami guard Chris Lykes, and Radford was called for a very questionable charge. Mike Young was livid on the sideline, and he picked up a technical foul.
After making both technical free throws and scoring of the ensuing possession, Miami took a 12-point lead. It appeared they had seized all the momentum.
Yet just about a minute later, Miami’s Sam Waardenburg fouled Landers Nolley in the lane, argued the call, and picked up a technical of his own. Jalen Cone made both technical free throws for the Hokies, but Nolley missed the front end of his one and one.
When the dust finally settled, the Hokies trailed the Hurricanes 41-32 at the end of the half. Miami’s Chris Lykes led all scorers with 11 points in the first 20 minutes.
In the second half, Miami came out hot. They hit three of their first four shots from the floor to stretch the lead back to double digits.
To Virginia Tech’s credit, they did not fold. However, every time they seemed to crawl back in, the Hurricanes seemed to have a mini-run to answer. With 12:47 left in the game, Miami held a 54-46 lead.
That is, until Tyrece Radford and Jalen Cone decided to take the game into their hands. Radford scored two old fashioned three point plays in the span of two minutes, and Cone followed that up with 5 straight point of his own to give Virginia Tech a 62-59 lead with 7:40 left in the game.
Two minutes later, Radford electrified Cassell once again with a block on defense and then a dunk on the other end. With 3:52 left in the contest, Virginia Tech held a 70-65 lead.
During the ensuing couple of minutes, Virginia Tech got foul happy. Miami capitalized on their opportunities, scoring eight straight points at the line.
After getting back into the game at the charity stripe, Miami’s Isaiah Wong hit a contested three to once again give Miami a 74-72 lead with just under two minutes left.
After two free throws from Nolley to tie the game, Radford went to work once again. His layup gave the Hokies a 76-74 lead with 37 seconds to go.
On the ensuing Miami possession, the Hokies forced a jump ball and took over possession. Jalen Cone hit one of two free throws to give the Hokies a three point lead.
Miami had one last chance, and they did not give it away. Kameron McGusty made the bucket in the lane and drew the foul for the Canes. His made free throw tied the game once again with five seconds left and eventually forced overtime.
The Hokies dominated the early going of the first overtime period, but they were unable to get the dagger when they needed it. They squandered multiple chances to stretch the lead to three possessions, and that allowed Miami to tie the game again with 4 straight points in the last minute.
Jalen Cone attempted a game winning shot from just inside the three point line, but it rimmed out. That sent the game to a second overtime.
In the second overtime, Miami took an 88-86 lead. Tyrece Radford proceeded to tie the game for the Hokies with a floater over the back of the backboard, and Bede then gave Tech a 90-88 lead.
Virginia Tech played great defense on the ensuing possession, but Miami’s Isaiah Wong hit a midrange jumper anyway. Tyrece Radford’s game-winning attempt went begging, and the game moved into a third overtime.
Virginia Tech dried up on offense in the first three minutes of the third overtime, and they started committing unnecessary fouls on defense. Miami used those factors to take a 94-90 lead with 2:12 left.
Try as they might, the Hokies simply ran out of gas. Despite a three by Jalen Cone to make it a one possession game again, Virginia Tech couldn’t get any more stops.
In the end, Miami came away with a 102-95 victory. With the loss, the Hokies fall to 15-11 overall and 6-9 in the ACC.
A team can only ask for some many opportunities to win a game, and Virginia Tech arguably had three of them with late leads in regulation and both of the first two overtimes. Now their hopes for an NIT bid seem to be in jeopardy.