They say it’s always hard to beat the same team three times in one season. The fifth-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies were facing this situation on Wednesday in round two of the ACC Tournament as they faced the 12th-seeded Miami Hurricanes.
Well, much like the first two meetings, the Hokies proved you could not only beat the same team three times in one season, but do so with ease as Tech picked up a rather stress-free 71-56 win to advance to face Florida State.
Four players score in double figures to lead us to a W at the #ACCTourney— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) March 13, 2019
• For the 17th time this season, we hit double-digit 3s
• Blackshear records eighth double-double
» https://t.co/r1ygM6NKFX#getBETTER | #Hokies pic.twitter.com/ezZQfOKtAC
The game wasn’t close in the first half as Tech went into intermission with a 38-21 lead. However, Miami played much better in the second half, even cutting the Hokie lead to seven at one point and making the Virginia Tech faithful in Charlotte a little bit nervous. Fortunately for the Hokies, they put their foot back on the gas and as quick as Miami cut into their lead, it was back to 14 and Tech never looked back.
Offensively, the Hokies were solid, shooting 50 percent from the field. Tech also hit 11 three-pointers in 27 attempts, led by Ty Outlaw who connected on four of eight attempts and finished with 14 points. It was a pretty good day overall for Outlaw, who was awarded the Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage Award, given annually to a player, coach or administrator who has overcome a significant hardship to contribute to his or her team or society as a whole. Outlaw has missed two full seasons in his college career, the first after a heart condition was discovered in 2015 and then last year with a knee injury.
Unlike the previous two meetings, junior big man Kerry Blackshear, Jr. had a strong game, leading the Hokies with 19 points and seven rebounds. Blackshear was eight of 12 from the floor. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who had two big games against Miami this season, contributed 12 points and six assists. Freshman Isaiah Wilkins chipped in with 10 points and played 22 minutes. That’s significant for this team as it hopes to play four games in four days.
Next up for the Hokies is No. 4 Florida State. These teams met only once in the regular season and coincidentally enough, it was last week in Tallahassee. FSU won the game in overtime.
Justin Robinson spoke on Wednesday and told the media he believes there’s a good chances he plays in next week’s NCAA Tournament. That would be some welcome news for head coach Buzz Williams and his teammates.
#Hokies guard Justin Robinson on possibly playing in NCAA tournament: "I think there's a great chance. I probably shouldn't say that, but I feel great. ...My family and me, I think, have handled it the right way. Coach Buzz has been the best coach through it of all." #ACCTourney— Norm Wood (@normwood) March 13, 2019