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Seth Allen wins it for VT over UVA. [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]The Virginia Tech Hokies and Virginia Cavaliers squared off tonight with the Hokies looking for revenge after getting blown out by 23 at Virginia. All expectations were that this would be a much closer game and as it turned out, it was exactly that.
The Hokies won what absolutely goes down as an instant classic of a game as Seth Allen hit the game-winning shot in double overtime with 3.1 seconds left from about 5 feet to give Virginia Tech a huge win over #12 Virginia 80-78 in what was a wild game.
Virginia led by 14 at halftime, but the Hokies were resilient and despite the fact that Chris Clarke got injured and Zach LeDay fouled out in regulation, the Hokies fought back to force overtime before sending the game to double overtime after a London Perrantes layup got stuck on the rim with the game tied at 68.
Then in double overtime, the Hokies rose up and in what was a back-and-forth second extra period, Seth Allen stepped up and shined in the biggest moment hitting one of the greatest shots in Virginia Tech basketball history.
Allen was the star of the night for the Hokies with 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in what was a huge performance from the senior point guard. Meanwhile, Justin Bibbs had a big night going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc on the way to having 16 points and 6 rebounds while Zach LeDay had a solid 24 minutes with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks before fouling out while Khadim Sy had one of his best ACC games with 10 points and 4 rebounds in 17 minutes.
Virginia Tech fed off the home crowd in this game while also stepping up at the free-throw line going 20-for-26 from the line while Virginia had a rough night from the line going 14-for-24 including the big miss by Ty Jerome that allowed the Hokies to tie the game with 1 second to go in regulation via Ty Outlaw's tip.
The Hokies did have turnover problems with 17 turnovers in this game compared to 10 for Virginia, but the Hokies' turnovers went down in the second half and the two overtimes while the Hokies actually outrebounded Virginia 41-38 while Virginia only had 2 more offensive rebounds than Virginia Tech (9-7). The Hokies' improved rebounding was quite beneficial in this game and helped VT get some important second chance opportunities including Outlaw's tip that sent the game to overtime.
The play of the Hokies' seniors has been in ACC play as Seth Allen and Zach LeDay have both stepped up in big ways in big games even with LeDay fouling out on what was a controversial charge call late in the second half. Justin Bibbs also has played well in some bigger ACC games and his experience in his third year of starting seems to be also providing some extra veteran experience that is making a difference in these big games.
For the Hokies, this is a huge signature win and after a week in which they started to creep towards the bubble, Virginia Tech has plenty of breathing room now while also having the potential to end up as a 6 or 7 seed with what is an intriguing closing stretch in which going 4-2 or 5-1 is definitely possible though that could be affected some by the status of Chris Clarke for the upcoming weeks.
In this game, Virginia Tech showed some great toughness and grit in the second half and two overtimes that we're used to seeing from Buzz Williams' teams with their effort making a big difference even when they seemed to start to run out of gas with VT finding that extra bit of gas at the end to get the win. What we saw last night was what we are more used to seeing from the Hokies in terms of their style while playing with the type of all-around effort that we're used to seeing from Buzz Williams-coached teams.
There are still a couple concerns especially with Chris Clarke's status being the biggest one given the Hokies' thin bench that really can't afford much in terms of injuries. On top of that, Ahmed Hill continues to be in a major slump from beyond the arc going 0-for-4 last night. Hill's struggles have been quite disappointing given his strong start as it seems that for now, his shooting slump may be in his head with Hill missing open threes that he was almost always hitting in the first half of the season.