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Virginia Tech Hokies Drop Their 2nd Game Lose, to Boston College in OT: 65-70

You know when you get the sneaking suspicion that things are going well, and going to get worse? Well, this could be the beginning of that ill feeling. Boston College was at .500 and not particularly special. Tech was flying and all that. Guess they weren’t. GO HOKIES!!!

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Boston College Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The “Run” Never Came

The Hokies went to Chestnut Hill looking for an elusive win there. The Mike Young era hasn’t been particularly successful in their house. We haven’t defeated them in the last four tries, and that includes a disappointing 73-77 loss in OT in the Cassell.

This game looked like it was just going to be a low scoring grinder from the tip. Tech did manage an 8-point lead in a couple of quick flashes during the first half, but the scoring was excruciatingly low, and Tech just could not manage to really win the exchange race. Most of the time it was a two-point difference either way with Tech getting the better of a few narrow leads, but then BC storming right back.

When the first half closed, Tech had a 5-point bumper, but BC had just drained a three, and that seemed to drain the momentum out of the Hokies for the half time break. When they came back to the court for the 2nd half, BC kept pushing and winning exchanges. By the 16:50 mark they finally passed Tech to gain the advantage on the constant scoring trades.

Neither team would lead for more than five points for the next 10 minutes of the game, with BC on the plus side of that balancing act. At the 4:19 mark, BC had a nine-point lead, and Tech was in serious trouble.

It was a near miraculous rally in the closing minutes of the game for the Hokies to close the scoring gap and they managed to get ahead and look like they were going to close the door for the win with a 3-pointer at the 49 second mark by Grant Basile. At that point is was 59-57 Tech and all that they needed to do was keep BC from scoring. Unfortunately, BC came roaring back up the court and sored 2 with 34 seconds left on the clock. With the score tied 59-59, there was plenty of time to drive in burn clock and put the ball up with a high percentage shot and maybe draw a foul for an old fashioned 3-pointer, but for some reason Tech elected to burn the clock and put up a low percentage 3-point attempt that should never have been called for, even if it was by Sean Pedulla. Why? Because Tech was not hitting anything near enough from three-point range to have trusted that shot even from the team’s best outside shooter (5-17 from downtown for the game). Darius Maddox did grab the offensive board, but there just wasn’t enough time to put up a quality shot and the Hokies were off to overtime for the first time this season. The reality is that the OT and the L could have been avoided with wiser choices and better clock management.

OT was Just Plain Weird and Totally Unexplainable

Frankly, how do you describe a five-minute OT period when neither team scores a point for nearly the first two minutes? It wasn’t for lack of trying, but the lid was on the basket and Tech kept trying threes, and then missing in close, too. The first two points of the period broke the ice in Boston College’s favor and given the nature of the game being on top and ahead of the exchange and Tech would never gain a lead. They did tie it up once, but then gave up the tie about as fast as the ball could be tossed down the court.

Game Stats to Note

Four players scored in double digits, Pedulla and Mutts put up 18 each, Basile managed 13, Maddux put in 10. Hunter Cattoor struggled in this game and barely put up five. He did manage five assists but ended up with 3 personal fouls and two turnovers. In a game this tight it would have been good to have him score his average, but tonight was not the night.

The Hokies need to regroup and figure out just what happened to their shooting and clock management. They put up 66 and only managed to sink 27. Even if they could have pushed that percentage to 35 or 40, they’d have walked away with this one.

Next up is Wake Forest in Winston-Salem on New Year’s Eve. Hopefully the team takes advantage of the break and fixes the problems.