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Hokies Crumble vs the Noles: The Details

Despite a big lead at the half, Virginia Tech found a way to squander the game in Tallahassee.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Florida State
No 2nd half stops for the Hokies
Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

This was a rough one for the Hokies but here we go...

By the Numbers:

The key to this game was shooting down the stretch. The Hokies shot well in the first half, but only hit two threes in the second half/overtime. At the half, Tech was around 40% from three but fell to under 30% on the game from beyond the arc.

Besides poor shooting, turnovers were a big problem for the Hokies. As a team, Tech had 14 turnovers compared to the ‘Noles 7. Sloppy passes, dropping the ball, and dribbling off their knee were all examples of poor quality play for Virginia Tech. To make the assist numbers worse, the Hokies only tallied 11 assists on the game. While the ball movement wasn’t terrible, extra passes weren’t being made and bad shots were being taken.

Last major stat we’ll glance at is rebounding. Despite winning the rebound battle 37-34, late in the game the Hokies allowed several offensive rebounds which led to key baskets for the Seminoles. Once Blackshear fouled out, Tech was even smaller than normal and didn’t box out.

Simple fundamentals went out the window down the stretch and it led to a disappointing overtime. Tech hit a big three to tie and had momentum going into overtime but only scored three points in the 5 minute period. If the Hokies had stuck to the basics, there may have been a different outcome to the game.

Player Performances:

Overall there were good player performances. Nickeil Alexander-Walker had a game high 19 points

and was aggressive driving to the bucket. Ahmed Hill added 18 on a good shooting night and Ty Outlaw and Wabissa Bede played decently for Tech.

Despite good performances from most players, Kerry Blackshear Jr. was not his recent self. In his defense, the refs seemed out to get him throughout and called several head scratching fouls on Tech’s big man. Regardless of the refs, he fouled out with just 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and had 4 turnovers.

Going Forward:

Friday night is senior night in the Cassell and is the final game of the regular season. A win could go a long way for momentum and confidence heading into the madness. Tech needs to get performances from role players and get big games from their stars if they want to make a run in come tournament time.

To turn away from the game for a moment; we have to address the Justin Robinson situation. As of now, we don’t know what Robinson’s status is. Rumors have been swirling about him coming back, but Tech has to stop counting on it. The Hokies beat Duke without him and are a solid team either way. Of course we’d all prefer to have him back, but we can’t bank on him coming back or keeping use it as an excuse for poor play.

This was a carelesd and pathetic finish to the game, but coming off of a week long bye it’s honestly not surprising. Hopefully they clean themselves up and are ready to go on Friday...