When we left the game at the half, to head for the various breaks afforded by being home and watching the game on TV, the Hokies had a decent lead. It was shrinking a bit, but some controlled play and careful shot selection had stretched the lead to 31-26. Five points isn’t a ton to sit on, though. It seems Wabissa Bede’s missed 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the 1st half would be prophetic.
For the first five minutes of the 2nd half, the Hokies either missed shots or lost the ball. It was noodle hands and hurried off balanced attempts at buckets. Bede managed to drain two free throws, but the lid was on the bucket and the marbles were out on the court. Tech was losing momentum and the score was narrowing rapidly.
Tech didn’t score a field goal until 14:33 when Landers Nolley II put up a mid range jumper. Nolley and Bede seemed to get something going while BC still floundered around. Both Hokies put up 2 each, and there looked to be a righting of the ship, and then a timeout happened.
The lid went on the bucket for VT, the fouls started coming in bunches, and even when Tech wasn’t the offender and made it to the charity stripe, they couldn’t get the ball to drain. BC eventually took the lead and the last five minutes of the game were a relative see-saw until there was too little time left to make up too many points. Fouls were being answered by good free throws, and Tech wasn’t making it up on the other side.
Through it all you had to wonder if BC hadn’t actually found a bit of magic by calling critical timeouts in mid period to refocus their effort and settle their players down. This is one game where we have to scratch some scalp to figure out why with 10 minutes to go and the lid on the bucket and fouls going crazy that Mike Young didn’t call a couple of strategic timeouts to get his squad settled and focused before they finally lost the lead.
This isn’t the first time that the Hokies have had a court meltdown, but it was the first time that it happened in the 2nd half without a recovery and an acceleration away from the opposition. Several people have noted that this team won’t get consistently good until it learns to put peer teams away by the middle of the 2nd half. That is not an invalid observation. The Hokies lost 61-56 in the final five minutes of the game.
It was a disappointing loss, but Tech has a shot at a measure of redemption as it resumes its road trip and heads to Coral Gables for a Tuesday match-up with the Hurricanes.
The general numbers were not good: (Stats from Yahoo Sports)
Shot Percentages: Field Goals: 40.0% 3-Pointers: 33.3% Free Throws: 50.0%
(Folks, that’s pretty disappointing, especially the free throws which is a number exceeding the lost difference.)
Tech vs. BC Scoring Chart
|L. Nolley II||15||2||2|