Uh, so yeah, that just happened. The Hokies managed not only managed to win, but they simply outplayed their Charlottesville rivals in a 70-68 thriller. By winning tonight, the Hokies remain undefeated in the ACC, already matching their conference win total from last year.
1. So here’s something: the last time the Hokies beat the Cavaliers was on January 22nd, 2012. It’s been 1,442 days since then. Needless to say, that’s a long time. Although they are a young team, the Hokies had already had enough with it. It was time for them to make their mark on this rivalry, and they played with that kind of desire tonight. It resulted in multiple energy plays, some of which swung the momentum of the game.
2. The Hokies already have two ACC wins on the season, the same amount they had last season. It took until February 9th to get their second ACC win of the season last year. This team is so much better than it was last year, both coaching-wise and talent-wise.
3. You know that feeling you get when you see an underdog that just believes in itself? That moment came tonight when with just a few minutes left, when the crowd got loud, and the defense was aggressive. Seth Allen forced a turnover, got the steal, heaved it ahead to Justin Robinson, who left it for Blackshear to finish for the and-1 and an 11-point lead. Grit, toughness, heart, and determination have become the hallmarks for this young team.
4. Frees, Threes, and T’s. Free throws, three pointers, and turnovers. Those are three areas where you usually need to win in order to win a game as an underdog. The Hokies put up a strong performance from the free throw line through about 38.5 minutes, before missing a few to let the Cavaliers back into it. They forced UVA into 16 turnovers, and shot 53% from deep. Just an all around great performance from the boys.
5. Zach LeDay played out of his mind tonight. After a quiet first half, he kept pace with UVA’s London Perrantes for a period in the second, expanding his range and knocking down three treys. He played strong defense, and was good enough on the glass to get the job done. He needed to step up his already phenomenal play, and he did just that.
6. After a strong game against NC State, Seth Allen was even better tonight. His stats aren’t better, but he once again made timely shots and made some great pocket passes to Blackshear and LeDay. If Allen was able to finish an around the world move on the fast break with the foul, the Cassell crowd would’ve absolutely lost it.
7. It’s amazing looking back at the West Virginia game and seeing how poorly this team performed that day. A young team could easily be rattled by that loss. But credit to Buzz to not letting that happen and keeping his players grounded and focused.
8. The truth hurts.
"We weren’t very good tonight & Virginia Tech was good."— VT Men's Basketball (@VT_MBBall) January 5, 2016
(UVA coach Tony Bennett)
9. The team showed an impressive ability to adapt to the situation of the game. At the half, it was a defensive battle, with the Hokies leading 26-21. UVA came out of the half on fire, but the Hokies didn’t overreact, and took efficient shots to keep pace with a deadly UVA offense. Their composure was outstanding.
10. Duke is next on the schedule. They didn’t poll as high as UVA, but they are just as talented. Good news is that the Hokies have about four days of rest before preparing for another hard fight against the reigning National Champions.