For a while, it seemed the Deacons were the Hokies’ kryptonite. After falling to Wake Forest in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech struggled to play to their identity for the first half tonight. It was not just the three-point shooting that faltered, but the defensive intensity was not strong enough and Wake ended the first period with a 44-37 lead, capped by a remarkable 80-foot Hail Mary as the buzzer sounded from Greg McClinton.
Just as Wake flipped the script when the Hokies were up in Saturday’s contest, the Hokies were able to do the same tonight. Scoring an astounding 62 points in the period, Virginia Tech found their three-point stroke which opened up the rest of their offense. Ty Outlaw started the game 0-of-3 from downtown, but ended the game making 4-7 from three-point range. Bibbs was 1-9 in the first half overall and finished the second half 4-4 from the field.
However, it was Zach LeDay that carried the team to a win with a monstrous 31-point, 15-rebound outing. Both were career-high tallies for him.
Zach LeDay:1st D-1 player with at least 30 points & 15 rebounds off the bench since Carl Montgomery Chicago State, 2011 vs Houston Baptist— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 9, 2017
LeDay filled up other areas in the stat sheet as well, posting 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 3 steals to his name. He was a one-man wrecking crew on the glass, getting the best of All-ACC forward John Collins, who ended up fouling out for just the second time this season. The redshirt senior only has a few games left in a Virginia Tech uniform, and is clearly making them count.
Seth Allen was second on the team in scoring, with 18 points on 6-10 shooting. Justin Bibbs and Ahmed Hill rounded out the Hokies in double digits with 15 and 12 points respectively.
With the win, the Hokies advance to the next round to play Florida State. The Seminoles beat the Hokies 93-78 back in January, but both sides are playing completely different now. Nevertheless, FSU has proved to be one of the better teams in the country and the Hokies had to expend plenty of energy in tonight’s win that will not help their cause tomorrow.