BLACKSBURG, Va. – At the halfway point of the ACC schedule, Virginia Tech finds itself with a 5-4 conference record.
It’s not perfect and not even great – but the Hokies will take it, as would a lot of other league teams in arguably the best conference in the nation.
“Given how the power of the conference is, I’m happy with where we are,” Virginia Tech guard Seth Allen said. “I like the team’s grit and toughness . we do a good job of responding to adversity.”
Allen and Justin Bibbs each scored 18 points to lift Virginia Tech to an 85-79 victory over Boston College on Sunday.
The duo combined to hit 11 of 16 from the floor, including six 3-pointers, for the Hokies (16-5, 5-4 ACC), who nearly squandered an 18-point lead, but put away Boston College (9-13, 2-7) by scoring on seven of their final 10 possessions.
Virginia Tech hit 10 of its first 11 shots from the floor, including five 3-pointers in building an 18-point, first-half lead. BC, though, cut the lead to 66-65 on a 3-pointer by Ky Bowman with 9:17 left before the Hokies went on a 7-0 run, pushing the lead to 73-65 on a Justin Robinson basket with 5:20 remaining. They weren’t threatened again.
“Where we’ve progressed the most is handling things when they don’t go great,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “They brought it to a one-point game, and how we’ve handled that (those situations) collectively has been the best growth.”
Zach LeDay scored 17 points for Virginia Tech, which shot 59.1 percent (26 of 44) and hit 12 3-pointers.
Jordan Chatman scored a career-high 30 points for the Eagles, who have lost five straight.
“This game came down to 10 minutes,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “The first 10 minutes of the game they punched us in the mouth. You can’t do it – you can’t dig a hole like that.”
Boston College: Chatman was the biggest bright spot for the Eagles, who are trying to stay out of the ACC’s cellar. He kept the Eagles in the game in the first half, hitting all seven of his shots. He hit 10 of 12 from the floor for the game, including nine 3-pointers.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies couldn’t afford to lose at home to one of the ACC’s worst teams – and didn’t. They still don’t have a bad loss, but now they play four of their next five on the road, with stops at Virginia, Miami, Pittsburgh and Louisville.
WILLIAMS REACHES 200-WIN MILESTONE
Williams won his 200th game as a head coach, which includes career stops at New Orleans, Marquette and Virginia Tech. The Hokies are now 47-42 in his third season in Blacksburg.
“Everything that has transpired in my career, whether it be as an assistant or head coach, has been way beyond anything that I dreamed,” Williams said.
Allen has established himself as the best shooting guard in the ACC. He is shooting 57.4 percent from the floor, which would be tops among ACC guards if he had enough made baskets per game to qualify. He shot 59 percent in the month of January, including 53.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
“Reps,” Allen said of his shooting. “I think it’s shot selection some. I’m taking better shots. And rhythm. Playing with these guys for a year . you’ve got to give credit to my teammates.”
Boston College: The Eagles face a quick turnaround, as they return home to take on Wake Forest on Tuesday night.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies hit the road to face in-state rival Virginia on Wednesday night. Tech has lost 10 of its past 12 meetings with the Cavaliers.