Miami came into today’s game fresh off an AP Top 25 ranking list that came out Monday morning, which just seemed to energize the Hokies. Virginia Tech, who had won four of their past five games, came into the game with a 7-2 record in games that were decided by five points or less. Tonight was another one of those close games that the Hokies have become used to winning.
Virginia Tech raced out a 10-6 lead after the first timeout, but the pace of play significant slowed after that. The Hokies were able to maintain the lead for the entire half and entered the break with a 27-26 lead.
The second half saw 10 lead changes in a back-and-forth affair. The real story of the game was Ty Outlaw. He entered the night sixth in the ACC in 3P%, and surely improved upon that ranking tonight. He was blistering hot from the field, finishing the game 8-of-10 from behind the arc and broke the Hokies’ all time record for threes made in a single game. In the last 80 minutes of gameplay, Outlaw is 13-15 from downtown. He has been tremendous in Clarke’s absence, finishing tonight’s game with 24 points, while no one else on the team had more than 12.
TY GOAT-LAW— Jawhar Ali (@soundslikejafar) February 28, 2017
Virginia Tech had not been very good defensively during conference play, but were able to put the clamps on Miami when it mattered most. A Davon Reed air balled three-pointer and Justin Robinson steal coupled with clutch free throw shooting sealed the deal for the Hokies, who have now beaten Miami in the Cassell for two straight years.
With the win, the Hokies will secure a first round bye in the ACC tournament and move to 10-7 in conference play. Virginia Tech has now won five of their last six and are one of the hotter teams in the country. Tonight’s win essentially cements a bid in the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade.