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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies lose a heartbreaker on buzzer-beater

It’s time to start looking ahead to next year.

NCAA Basketball: Miami-Florida at Virginia Tech Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just not Virginia Tech’s season. If you needed any further proof, Wednesday’s 78-75 loss to the Miami Hurricanes provided all the necessary evidence.

The Hokies played a mostly terrific game on offense. Virginia Tech shot 50% from the field and 50% from 3-point range, making 13 of 26 attempts from beyond the arc. Yet, it wasn’t enough to take down the Miami Hurricanes as Miami guard Charlie Moore took the inbounds pass with 1.8 seconds left and nailed a midcourt shot to give the ‘Canes a stunning victory.

Miami led by five points at halftime, but the Hokies quickly took the lead in the second half. Virginia Tech guard Nahiem Alleyne came out hot, hitting three 3-pointers in the second half as the teams went back and forth. The Hokies appeared to take control late, going up 67-61, but the Hurricanes scored seven of the game’s following eight points to tie it at 68.

Hunter Cattoor drilled a 3-pointer, which was followed up with a Justyn Mutts bucket. Suddenly, Tech was back up by five points with 1:57 remaining. Unfortunately for the Hokies, Miami scored the game’s final eight points, and the Hokies failed to close another game.

With the game tied at 75, Virginia Tech had the ball with 28 seconds remaining and called a timeout. After passing the ball around a bit, the Hokies settle for a 3-point attempt from Cattoor, which rattled off the rim into Miami’s hands. The rest is history.

After a timeout, that was the best shot for Virginia Tech? The Hokies really need a penetrating point guard who can get easy looks for the bigs close to the rim. Unfortunately, that’s not Storm Murphy, Alleyne, or Cattoor.

Miami shot 54.7% from the field and made 11 of 18 from 3-point range. It was not a great night for Tech’s defense, which generally does a good job defending the 3-point line.

Keve Aluma led the Hokies with 14 points. Cattoor, Alleyne and Darius Maddox scored 13 apiece. It was an ACC career-high for Maddox and proof he should play more down the stretch. Mutts nearly had a triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

The Hokies drop to 10-10 on the season and 2-7 in ACC play. Next up for Virginia Tech is a trip to Florida State.