Blacksburg, VA — The Virginia Tech suffered its fifth straight loss Saturday, losing to Boston College 77-73 in overtime at Cassell Coliseum.
The Eagles (12-12, 6-7) beat Tech for the second time this season.
“The small things killed us,” said Hokies freshman Landers Nolley II, who had 29 points and 11 rebounds. “Missed free throws. A couple missed boxed-outs. A couple forced shots.
“This was definitely a winnable game. We’ve just got to tweak a little bit more.”
The Hokies shot 53.3% from the field in the first half and led 38-33 at the break.
Christian said BC adjusted its zone defense at halftime. Tech shot 36.7% in the second half and 33.3% in OT.
“I’m really proud of the courage our team showed,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “It was a gut-check game.”
A team that was once 5-3 in the ACC and an NCAA Tournament “bracketology” regular on various websites has now dropped to 14-10 overall and 5-8 in the ACC.
“Very surprising,” Tech freshman Nahiem Alleyne said of the skid. “Obviously nobody wants to go on a losing streak. But we’ve just got to fight through it, just get in the gym.”
Nolley’s 29-point outing was his best game since he had 29 points in a Jan. 11 win over North Carolina State. He was 12 of 22 from the field, including 3 of 7 from downtown.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Nolley said. “NBA teams go on losing streaks. You’ve just got to bounce back and focus on the next game.”
The Hokies, who were coming off three straight losses by double digits, saw improvement in their play and energy level Saturday.
“We actually came out the door with fire,” said Tyrece Radford, who had 10 points. “We came to compete today.
The Hokies, who were coming off three straight losses by double digits, saw improvement in their play and energy level on Saturday afternoon.
“We actually came out the door with fire,” said Tyrece Radford, who had 10 points. “We came to compete today.”
The Hokies led 45-39 with 16:15 remaining in the game. Boston College sprinted out to a 12-0 run in the next 4:50 for a 51-45 advantage with 11:25 left in regulation. Heath made two 3-pointers to spark that run. Derryck Thornton also hit a three in the Eagles’ rally.
Virginia Tech then limited Boston College to just five points in the next 5:40. With 5:45 left in the game, the Hokies grabbed a 57-56 lead.
With BC leading 66-64 with 40.2 seconds to go in regulation, Alleyne made two free throws with four seconds left to force overtime.
Alleyne drove to the basket and was fouled with 4.4 seconds left. He made both free throws to tie the game at 66 and force OT.
But overtime BC would make some key adjustments on their ball pressure defense which made it tougher for Tech to shoot over the top of the zone.
Nolley hit a 3-pointer to give Tech a 73-70 lead with 2:02 left in OT.
BC scored the final seven points of the game.
Steffon Mitchell scored inside to give BC a 75-73 lead with 11.1 seconds to go in OT. It was BC’s lone basket of overtime.
Nolley missed a deep 3-pointer with about six seconds left in OT.
“It was a good shot,” Nolley said. “I had just hit the one on the left-wing with 2:02 to go. I should’ve hit it.”
That situation had worked out in Tech’s double-OT win over North Carolina on Jan. 22. Young did not call timeout before Radford’s winning shot in that game.
After Nolley’s miss, Mitchell made two free throws with two seconds left to seal the win.
“We just couldn’t hit no shots in OT and they kept knocking down their free throws,” Alleyne said.
Mitchell tied his career-high with 21 points. The junior forward also tied his career-high with 15 rebounds.
BC, which lost guard Jared Hamilton to an injury in the first half, made 11 3-pointers to Tech’s eight.