On Saturday, the Virginia Tech Hokies were looking to snap a five-game losing streak in what was a must-win game at home in front of a sellout crowd. However, the Hokies faced another bubble NCAA Tournament team in the Clemson Tigers who did not want to suffer a disappointing loss.
In the end, the fans of the home team left happy.
Virginia Tech ended its five-game losing streak with a 60-57 victory over the Clemson Tigers to go to 5-6 in the ACC and 13-11 overall. The Hokies once again proved that they are one of the top 11 teams in the ACC, and not in the bottom tier of the ACC with Boston College, Wake Forest, N.C. State, and Georgia Tech.
After only shooting 27.6% in the first half, Virginia Tech stepped up in the second half shooting 48.1% from the field in the final 20 minutes. Free throws made a difference as the Hokies got the job done going 14-for-16 from the free-throw line while Clemson made 10 of their 16 free-throw attempts.
Virginia Tech was only outrebounded by four 39-35 including 12-10 on the offensive glass, which shows continuing improvement from the Hokies in that area. Virginia Tech had only 8 turnovers against a very good defensive team while also having six blocks though the Tigers blocked 10 shots in this matchup.
Zach LeDay didn't start, but was the difference maker for the Hokies with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds, along with 4 blocks and 2 assists. LeDay had a big game when the Hokies needed him to, and got it done at the free-throw line shooting 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
LeDay continues to be the star for the Hokies, and has led the Hokies out of the bottom of the ACC.
Jalen Hudson didn't start just like LeDay, but Hudson had one of his best games over the last couple weeks with 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting along with 2 rebounds, and a block. Justin Bibbs didn't have a great shooting day, but he did enough to help get the job done with 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting including 2-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
Kerry Blackshear is starting to become more consistent which is only helping the Hokis as the freshman big man had 6 points and 6 rebounds. Seth Allen didn't have a great shooting night going 4-of-11 from the field including 1-of-5 from beyond the arc for 11 points.
Devin Wilson didn't score any points, but had 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and a steal in this game while Justin Robinson found some ways to get involved with 2 assists, 2 rebounds, and a block. Shane Henry and Satchel Pierce played for a combined six minutes and both had a rebound with Pierce also having an assist while on the floor.
For the Hokies, this is a much-needed win that gives them some much needed momentum ahead of a tough Tuesday night matchup at Virginia followed by another tough road game at Miami eight days later. Virginia Tech got a big win that will help them in their pursuit of earning a spot in the NIT though winning one of the next two games would help those chances a ton.
The Hokie fan base once again is excited about basketball with Buzz Williams leading the program in the right direction climbing the ladder of the ACC. The question now is can the Hokies pull off a big upset on the road before they return home to face Florida State?