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Hokies Clutch Out Win Over Shorthanded Irish, 80-75

It wasn’t pretty, but the Hokies find a way to defeat Notre Dame for the first time since 1973.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech got a huge confidence boost with their win over North Carolina on Monday, and tonight’s win in South Bend will certainly have the same effect. The Hokies started out hot, and stayed hot, knocking down five of their first seven three-point attempts and finishing the game 14-of-25 from downtown.

Justin Bibbs keyed the Hokies offense tonight, starting the game 8-of-8 from the field including 4-of-4 from three. He ended up leading the team with 20 points. However, Chris Clarke will walk off Notre Dame’s campus with the game ball. He had just 12 points and 5 turnovers, but accumulated half the team’s rebounds with 14. He was especially crucial down the stretch as Kerry Blackshear fouled out with 4 minutes remaining. He put the finishing touches on this one, getting a clutch offensive rebound and tip in to put Tech up by 4 with under 40 seconds remaining.

Justin Robinson had another fantastic game, as he did not face the Irish’s Matt Farrell on the other side. He finished with 12 points, 7 assists, and most importantly 0 turnovers. That is something Buzz has emphasized with the junior point guard, who has been referred to as the “engine” of the team by the head coach.

Temple Gibbs was outstanding in relief of Farrell and Colson for Notre Dame, finishing with 27 points and went 5-of-10 from three. He was the catalyst for the Irish’s 15-2 run midway in the second half that cut the Hokies 13-point lead to just 4. The Hokies, however, showed plenty of grit and fight to get this win by any means necessary.

This game obviously helps the Hokies in the ACC standings, as they now sit at 4-4 with 10 games left. Virginia Tech travels to Boston College on Wednesday to play a much improved Eagles’ squad. It is a winnable game, but the road to the NCAA tournament does not get any easier.