Virginia Tech finished up the last of their three straight road games in Atlanta, as they took on the 11-15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. This game was similar to the Hokies’ contest in Durham on Wednesday, except Virginia Tech was on the winning side of the scoreboard today. Both teams started off hot from three, but eventually the Jackets cooled off, allowing the Hokies to go on an extended run 18-6 before halftime. Virginia Tech went into the break with a 43-29 advantage.
McCamish Pavilion was loud early, but became deathly silent as the game wore on the in the second half. Virginia Tech turned a 14-point lead at halftime into an absolute blowout. The Hokies used a 21-3 run to start the second half to finish off Georgia Tech in the swiftest way possible. ESPN started showing shots of Josh Pastner on the bench, who did not look too worried about the result of this one.
Eventually, the Hokies pulled their starters out with 11:47 left in the game. At that point, the Hokies top three leading scorers had outscored the entire Georgia Tech roster 42-38. Virginia Tech cruised to a 76-56 win.
There were a few highlights from this game, namely from Tyrie Jackson:
Tyrie got many more minutes than usual, playing close to his hometown of Tifton, Georgia. He was pitted against his brother, Tadric Jackson, on the other side fo the floor who led the Jackets in scoring with 17 points. Virginia Tech got scoring contributions from 10 players (nearly from all 12 healthy players on the roster), with Justin Robinson once again leading the team with 18 points. Robinson was 3-of-3 from three and also had a team-high 4 assists. He has become a floor general with his ability to find open teammates with ease and control the flow of the game.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker went 6-of-9 from the field and 2-of-2 from three to give him 14 points for the game. Justin Bibbs, once again, turned in an excellent performance on both ends of the floor, chipping in with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting. As a team, the Hokies shot 52.8 percent from the field and went 8-of-16 from three.
The Hokies’ defense, after a tough outing against Duke, was more than up to the task this afternoon. Georgia Tech shot just 36.4 percent from the game and a measly 4-of-25 from three. At point, the Jackets had missed 17 consecutive threes, partly due GT’s offensive ineptitude, but the Hokies’ defense deserves the majority of the credit for this performance. The Hokies forced 12 turnovers, helping them rack up 24 fast break points. Virginia Tech also outrebounded Georgia Tech 36-to-30.
This win gives the Hokies their first conference road winning record since 2004-05 (h/t to Norm Wood). With a 8-6 overall ACC record, the Hokies have three fantastic opportunities to add quality wins to their tournament resume next week. With No. 11 Clemson, No. 12 Duke, and Louisville visiting Blacksburg, Virginia Tech seems to have multiple paths to ensure a tournament berth.