Virginia Tech has embraced a live or die by the three mentality this season, and it caught up to them today as the Hokies went 7-30 from 3 while Devin Vassell was 7-7 from 3 for 25 points overall on No. 5 Florida State's way to a victory over the Hokies.
The Hokies fall to 14-8 on the season and 5-6 in ACC play with the loss while Florida State improves to 18-3 on the sesaon including 8-2 in ACC play.
Three-point shooting was the storyline in this game as the Hokies struggled immensely from deep missing several open threes while Florida State's Devin Vassell took advantage of his opportunities going 7-7 with FSU going 10-22 overall from three.
The Hokies also only had 6 free throw attempts for the entire game, failing to get to the free throw line till almost the 9 minute mark in the second half. That proved to be a big problem against an FSU team who has seen their opponents attempt more than double their amount of free throws in each of their 3 losses.
Despite having a major size disadvantage, the Hokies had a fairly strong game in the paint with a 32-28 points in the paint advantage while being even with FSU in offensive rebounds with 6 for each team. Tech had 10 turnovers compared to 9 for FSU, but did a great job taking advantage of FSU's turnovers with 18 points off them compared to 11 for FSU.
Tyrece Radford had another big game for Tech with 18 points and 6 rebounds on 8-10 shooting as he continues to be extremely efficient. Hunter Cattoor had a strong first half with 10 points on 4-6 shooting, but missed his lone shot of the second half, a three-pointer.
Landers Nolley's recent struggles continued in a big way as he went 5-16, including 2-8 from 3 on his way to having 14 points. While he had a strong game rebounding the basketball with 7 rebounds, his inefficiency shooting the basketball has become a major problem.
Wabissa Bede cleaned up the turnovers with 6 assists compared to 2 turnovers to go with 5 rebounds but only 4 points on 2-6 shooting. Nahiem Alleyne was also 2-6 with 7 points including a highlight reel dunk that will likely be remembered for the rest of his collegiate career.
Isaiah Wilkins was much more efficient today with 7 points on 3-4 shooting while Jalen Cone only had 3 points on 1-3 shooting with only 12 minutes. P.J. Horne was held off the scoreboard but had 3 rebounds and 2 blocks while John Ojiako received double-digit minutes for the first time in more than 5 games, but his youth showed at times during his 10 minutes as he finished with 1 rebound.
For Florida State, Devin Vassell showed why ESPN's Jay Bilas sees him as a future first round pick with 27 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers on 8-10 shooting including 7-7 from three-point range. Florida State didn't have a single player score more than 8 points other than Vassell, but had a multitiude of guys do a little with all 10 FSU players scoring at least one point.
There is no doubt that Virginia Tech played much better in this game than they did on their road trip to Boston College and Miami. However, Florida State showed why they are a top 10 team and a Final Four contender.
Looking ahead, the Hokies enter an important four-game stretch against teams that all have losing records in conference play. While the Hokies' NCAA Tournament hopes have been fading lately, the road to the Tournament is far from over with the Hokies among those right outside of the Tournament. However, the pressure is on to win their next four especially given the competition level and that three of those games come at home.