Hokies Avoid The Sting By Georgia Tech

In what was a thrilling game, the Hokies held off the Yellow Jackets in a tight ACC game that came down to the last shot by Georgia Tech.

Virginia Tech welcomed a sparse crowd inside Cassell but the student section was packed and when the famous Enter Sandman played over the speakers you could feel the energy and electricity hit the floor as soon as the Hokies won the opening tip.

Chris Clarke was late to shootaround resulting in Buzz Williams making him play off the bench against the Yellow Jackets, which was a result of one of the slowest starts for Tech this season.

Once Clarke got in the game, he was playing with a lot of aggression grabbing five rebounds and dropping seven points, going three-of-four from the free throw line off the bench in the first half.

With the slow start by the Hokies’ the Yellow Jackets would start the game with a lot of energy going on a 6-0 run prior to the first media timeout of the game. During the run, the Yellow Jackets went 4-4 from the free throw line but shot 2-8 from the field. However, their defense was holding the Hokies to just 29 percent shooting from the field and didn’t give up a three-point shot in four efforts by the Hokies.

Tech was getting stung early by not being able to find the bucket from behind the arc but good ball movement by the Hokies is what got the ball rolling into the second media timeout with Seth Allen draining a wide open three but with bad transition defense the Hokies gave up an easy three on the other end to Quinton Stephens.

Georgia Tech and Ben Lammers would show the fans in attendance and watching at home why they were a force to be reckoned with. Lammers had six blocks and five rebounds along with four points in the first half.

“I’ve known him [Lammers] for a while. Recruited him when I was at Marquette. His potential is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. He’s going to be at the next leve just because of his work ethic,” Williams said of Lammers.

After a couple missed opportunities by the Yellow Jackets, Allen would put the Hokies back on top with a nice layup giving Tech a 33-32 lead, but Georgia Tech’s Josh Heath drained a transition three putting the Jackets back on top 35-32.

As the Hokies and Yellow Jackets went into the second media timeout in the second half, Allen was leading the way with 13 points shooting 100 percent from the field and at the free throw line which helped the Hokies extend their lead to 49-40 over the Yellow Jackets with 11:13 left to play.

Georgia Tech managed to go on a 6-0 with the help of Josh Okogle’s effort who cut the Hokies lead to 49-46 prior to the eight-minute media timeout.

Clarke continued to stay hot for the Hokies throughout the contest as he was proving to Williams and the Hokies staff that he wanted to be in the game as he worked his way into a double-double dropping 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds as the Hokies went on to defeat the Yellow Jackets, 62-61.

It took a last second shot from the Yellow Jackets and a prayer to be answered for LeDay to give the Hokies the win.

“Man… I prayed to God that the shot would miss. I pray a lot, but on that play, I prayed hard,” LeDay said. “I guess I’ll talk to God more now.”

Virginia Tech will now hit the road for two big games as they will travel to Clemson to face the Tigers who are struggling in ACC play this year and to Chapel Hill to face the always talented Tar Heels.

The Hokies are all-time 16-15 against the Tigers and hold a 5-9 record against Clemson on the road. As for North Carolina, the Hokies are 13-66 against the Tar Heels with a unforgiving 5-30 record and are 0-2 under Buzz Williams.

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