The low point of Virginia Tech’s basketball season occurred one month to the day Saturday. On that day, the Miami Hurricanes and Hokies were tied at 75 with 1.8 seconds remaining. Miami inbounded the ball to guard Charlie Moore behind midcourt; Moore proceeds to throw a hail mary to the basket, connecting to shock Tech in Blacksburg.
The Hokies fell to 10-10 on the season with a 2-7 record in the ACC. Twitter and message boards wanted to fire head coach Mike Young, proving social media and message boards aren’t real life.
But the Hokies regrouped, winning six in a row and seven out of eight entering Saturday’s rematch against the Hurricanes in Coral Gables. Suddenly, Tech was back on the NCAA bubble but needed a Quad-1 win. A win over Miami would go a long way in improving VT’s chances for an NCAA bid.
On Saturday, the Hokies picked up a massive 71-70 win over the ‘Canes and improved to 18-11 and 10-8 in conference play. Oh yeah, and picked up some sweet revenge scoring the game’s final five points to shock Miami.
The Hurricanes went up by four points, 70-66, with 25 seconds remaining in the game after Moore made one of two free throws. Tech forward Justyn Mutts pulled down the rebound, and freshman guard Sean Pedulla took the ball down the court and made a layup with 17 seconds left, and Tech was suddenly down two points.
Young called a timeout. Hunter Cattoor proceeds to steal the ball down two points with 16 seconds remaining and finds sophomore guard Darius Maddox for a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left and Virginia Tech with a 71-70 lead.
Miami called a timeout, and Tech needed one more defensive stand. Miami forward Sam Waardenburg missed a 3-pointer with one second remaining, and the game was over.
Tech shocked the Hurricanes with a strong finish.
Keve Aluma scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Pedulla and Maddox scored 17 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench. The young guards again outplayed starters Storm Murphy and Nahiem Alleyne, who combined to score four points. Cattoor scored 10 points for the Hokies, while Mutts scored nine points finished with eight rebounds and six assists.
Virginia Tech shot 57% from the field and outrebounded Miami, 31-22. The Hokies turned the ball over 19 times Saturday — a season-high.
The Hokies have two games remaining on the season. Louisville comes to Blacksburg Tuesday, and Tech travels to Clemson next Saturday. If the Hokies win both games, it will give them 20 wins on the season, including 12 in ACC play.