Joey Van Zegeren put up a game and career-high 21 points, but it was no match for Georgia Tech as the Yellow Jackets finished off the Hokies 62-51 on senior day in Atlanta, Ga.
Robert Carter Jr. led the Jackets with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Daniel Miller added 14 points and nine rebounds while Trae Golden finished with 14 points and eight assists.
Freshman Ben Emelogu returned to the lineup after battling injuries and finished with eight points for the Hokies and Jarell Eddie had five points and eight rebounds.
It was a battle of big men in the first half with Georgia Tech senior center Daniel Miller posting 10 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting along with seven rebounds, three steals and a block. Van Zegeren countered with 10 points and four rebounds but the Hokies shot just 31% from the field as a team and the Yellow Jackets led 29-22 at halftime.
The Hokies (9-21, 2-16 ACC) came out flat in the second half and an early 12-2 run by Georgia Tech (15-16, 6-12 ACC) looked like it might blow the game open. Virginia Tech hung around though cutting the lead back to 13 before a deflating series of plays again threatened to finish the Hokies for good.
Tech turned the ball over when Marshall Wood threw a bad inbounds pass that caromed off the feet of Devin Wilson. The Yellow Jackets scored on a backdoor alley-oop on the following inbounds play then scored on another alley-oop on the next possession.
The Hokies mustered a late 7-0 run and later cut the Yellow Jacket lead to eight after a three pointer from Ben Emelogu, but it wasn't enough.
Timely baskets by Georgia Tech and the Hokies' inability to score quickly finally undid Virginia Tech down the stretch.
The loss sets up a meeting for the 15-seed Hokies with 10-seed Miami (16-15, 7-11 ACC) Wednesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
The Hokies won both meetings with Miami this season.
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