For the second straight game the Hokies found themselves fighting for victory in overtime. Against UAB the Hokies were able to pull out the win. Unfortunately, VPI was unable to recapture that OT magic and fell to the Northwestern Wildcats, 81-79.
The Wildcats stormed into Blacksburg on Tuesday night. Except for a 15 second stint, around the third minute of the game, Northwestern dominated the first half. Outscoring the Hokies 45-36, NW entered the break with a comfortable lead. Virginia Tech would not allow a repeat of the first half though. The Hokies turned the tide on the Wildcats and returned the favor visited upon them during the initial period. After halftime VT outscored NW 37-28. The Hokies never gained the lead during regulation, but they did enough to tie the game 73-73 and force overtime. VPI immediately jumped out to a two point lead, at the start of OT. The Wildcats answered and tied the game 79-79 where it remained until the last thirty seconds. With 29 seconds left in OT, Bryant McIntosh made a layup and that gave the Wildcats the win.
The Hokies continue to struggle with their field goals. Virginia Tech was again held below 50%, only mustering up a 40.9% success at FGs. They were 27-66 for FGM-A. The Hokies have only tasted 50% once this season when they played NCAT. VT was 7-17 (41.2%) for three pointers. The Hokies have improved on their free throws in the last two games. Against UAB they achieved a 75% success, and against the Wildcats they were 18-23 (78.3%).
Zach Delay was held to mortal numbers against Northwestern. He was 0-4 on FGM-A, had one rebound, and scored two points. Off the bench, guard, Seth Allen, showed up in a big way, scoring 25 and recovering four rebounds. He was 7-15 on FGM-A and a respectable 4-8 on 3PM-A. Justin Bibbs also had a solid game, adding 17 points. Chris Clarke was the third Hokie to score in the double digits with 11, and added 13 rebounds!
The Hokie faithful in attendance were provided a treat at halftime when the Virginia Tech athletics department introduced Justin Fuente, the successor of VT football HC Frank Beamer.
With the loss the Hokies fall to 4-3 on the season, and the Wildcats improve to 6-1.
Next Virginia Tech faces the 2-5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions.