The Virginia Tech Hokies lost a close game at home in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday 91-82 in a tough game against the Florida State Seminoles.
Justin Robinson led the Hokies with 26 points on 10-15 shooting, including 4-7 from behind the arc. Against a very big Seminole team, Tech did well in the first half to not let 7'4" Christ Koumadje use his size as an advantage, but 6'9" Mfiondu Kabengele forced Kerry Blackshear Jr. to commit two fouls in the first half which spelled trouble for the Hokies.
Blackshear Jr. picked up his third foul not even 30 seconds into the second half and he fouled out with more than 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Hokies trailed by just 3 at halftime, 41-38, but without Blackshear Jr., who scored 10 points in just 18 minutes of play, Virginia Tech's offense sputtered as they missed many opportunities on offensive possessions in the second half.
Justin Bibbs and Chris Clarke were the other two Hokies to score in double figures as Bibbs scored 19 points and Clarke scored 13. Bibbs and Robinson hit some key three-pointers late, shooting a combined 8-14 from downtown, and kept the Hokies in the game.
Robinson, Bibbs, and Clarke could not do everything, however, and having Nickeil-Alexander Walker and Ahmed Hill score a combined 10 points wasn't a huge help. Alexander-Walker and Hill shot a combined 2-13 from three and Devin Wilson only scored 4 points coming off the bench. Even still, the Hokies were only down five points with less than a minute to go but they could not draw any closer.
Justin Robinson had a fantastic game and Bibbs, Blackshear Jr., and Clarke all helped contribute but it just was not enough to beat Florida State. The Hokies shot 34.5% from three and shot 53.3% from the free throw line, two places where they could've capitalized better. Tech was out-rebounded by the Seminoles 37-25 while Florida State shot 20-26 from the free throw line (76.9%) which was the difference in the ball game.
Virginia Tech sits at 13-6 overall and is 2-4 in ACC play this season. NCAA Tournament chances continue to shrink with the loss to the Seminoles and the Hokies have a must win game against North Carolina on Monday if there is any chance they want to keep any tournament hopes alive.
Virginia Tech will have its hands full when the Tar Heels come into Cassell on Monday night.
Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
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