The No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies learned how tough life on the road is in the ACC as a top-10 team on Wednesday night, narrowly escaping an upset bid by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, with a 52-49 win. The Hokies are now 14-1 on the season and improve to 3-0 in ACC play.
The Hokies controlled the game early, jumping out to a 11-2 lead, until the Jackets went on a run around the 10-minute mark. Guard Jose Alvarado had the hot hand for Georgia Tech, scoring 17 points in the first half.
Every time the Yellow Jackets would get close, the Hokies would get a bucket. Just before the half, the Hokies scored as time expired and went into the locker room with a 29-24 lead.
The second half was one of VT’s ugliest performances of the season. The Hokies scored just 23 points and missed several critical free throws. Even worse, VT was abysmal from three-point range, shooting just 18 percent from long range as the Hokies connected on just five of 27 attempts for the evening. For the game, the Hokies shot just under 30 percent as a team, while Georgia Tech shot 44 percent as a team.
Despite season lows in points & field goal percentage, we walk out of Atlanta with a W!— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) January 10, 2019
We defeat Georgia Tech 52-49 to improve to 3-0 in ACC play
• Hill (15 points) & Blackshear (14) score in double figures
• Force 18 Yellow Jacket turnovers#getBETTER | #Hokies pic.twitter.com/0owbyXpnsJ
GT kept the game close and with 3:23 remaining, the Yellow Jackets finally took the lead, 49-47. However, it didn’t last long as Justin Robinson hit a three on VT’s next possession to take back the lead, 50-49 and never looked back.
The Yellow Jackets had several opportunities to once again take the lead but Virginia Tech’s defense came up big. The Hokies forced multiple missed shots and two turnovers late to preserve a tough and impressive road win.
Sure, this isn’t a resume-building victory, but it is the kind of win that makes good teams better late in the season. The Hokies took Georgia Tech’s best shot and still came away with the win.
Ahmed Hill led the Hokies with 15 points, while Kerry Blackshear contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds. Robinson scored 10 points, pulled down five rebounds and dished out three assists. Sophomore Nickeil Alexander-Walker struggled, shooting just one of 13 from the field and scoring just four points.
The Hokies have six days off before hitting the road next Tuesday with a huge game against archrival and No. 4 Virginia. Remember, the Hokies handed the Hoos their only conference loss last season and that also happened at John Paul Jones Arena.