Virginia Tech wants better showing against Wahoos


Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored on a putback with 5.8 seconds left and Virginia Tech spoiled No. 2 Virginia's opportunity to climb to No. 1 with a 61-60 overtime victory Saturday night. However, he missed the front end of a one-and-one, and UVA tied the game on a jumper by Ty Jerome with ten seconds left.

In the first meeting of the 2017-18 season between Virginia and Virginia Tech, the Hokies played on of their worst games of the year.

Virginia trailed nearly throughout after the Hokies reeled of 17 straight points in the first half, finally pulling even at 35-all with Hall, Ty Jerome and Hall again nailed consecutive 3-pointers early in the second half.

"We nearly stole that game but that's what it would have been ... stealing", said UVa coach Tony Bennett, whose Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 ACC) had won 15 games in a row since a December 5 loss at West Virginia.

Virginia was held to 36 percent shooting and was led by Guy who scored eight points.

Virginia (23-2, 12-1), meanwhile, squandered a chance to move up to No. 1 in next week's Associated Press Top 25 poll following Villanova's loss to St. John's on Wednesday. "I thought that the free throws were going to go in".

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The Hokies tallied 12 points in the five-minute extra session, which was remarkable considering they sputtered their way to 16 total in the second half. The teams have split the season series for three consecutive seasons. Per Ken Pomeroy's defensive efficiency metrics, they are allowing just 81.8 points per 100 possessions (adjusted for strength of opponent), which is the best mark the 16-year KenPom era.

Virginia Tech led 33-26 at the half. Alexander-Walker hit his fourth 3-pointer to pull the Hokies to 60-59 and, after Hall missed the front end of another one-and-one, Blackshear made the putback.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are a very unsafe team when they are making shots, and that's pretty often.

UVA was just 21-of-61 (34.4%) from the field and 11-of-38 (28.9%) from three-point range. Blackshear, who finished with just seven points and who missed six wide open three-pointers, was also fouled on the play.

With 20 seconds remaining in the game, Justin Robinson went to the free throw line for a one-and-one with his team leading 49-47.

The Cavaliers will be back in action Tuesday against the Miami Hurricanes, while the Hokies have a showdown against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium looming Wednesday evening. This success is accredited to Virginia head coach Tony Bennett, who has unlocked two of the best young stars in sophomore guard Kyle Guy and redshirt freshman forward De'Andre Hunter, instrumental pieces to the program. "But the play at the end is one he'll always remember, as will I".