Allen lifts Hokies past No. 12 Virginia in 2 OTs, 80-78
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Seth Allen made his third chance to be the hero the one that counted.
Allen hit a short jumper in the lane with 3.2 seconds left in the second overtime Sunday night and Virginia Tech beat No. 12 Virginia for the second consecutive year at Cassell Coliseum, 80-78, just the second win for the Hokies in the rivalry in the last 11 meetings.
The winner came after Allen missed on a driving try at the end of regulation, but the Hokies were rescued by Ty Outlaw’s tip-in with 1 second left, forcing overtime. There, Allen tried it again, but his shot at the buzzer was off the mark, forcing the second extra period.
”My teammates were telling me, `Keep getting to the rim, Keep getting to the rim,”’ Allen said, ”So I just kept driving as hard as I could.”
The shot ended a bizarre rivalry game in which the Hokies trailed almost throughout, but Outlaw’s lone basket gave them a chance. In the first overtime, Virginia’s London Perrantes drove for what appeared to be a go-ahead layup with 21 seconds left, but the ball bounced on the rim, rolled around and died against the backboard. The officials called a jump ball, the Hokies had the possession arrow and escaped again.
”I couldn’t do that if I tried again,” Perrantes said. ”Never done that, never seen it happen, especially on a layup.”
Allen, who led the Hokies (17-7, 6-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 22 points, broke a 78-all tie when he pulled up a few feet from the basket and made the shot with defender Marial Shayok in front of him.
”I tried to make it tough on him. He just hit a tough shot,” Shayok said.
Justin Bibbs added 16 points for the Hokies, all but two after halftime, and scoring leader Zach LeDay had all 11 of his after halftime.
Perrantes had 22 points to lead Virginia (18-6, 8-4), but missed 15 of his 22 attempts from the field. Kyle Guy added 12 and Shayok 11.
The victory was the third crushing loss Virginia has suffered in recent weeks, including a tip-in at the buzzer that gave Villanova a 61-59 victory in a game the Cavaliers dominated on Jan. 29, and a 66-62 loss at Syracuse on Feb. 4, again after Virginia had largely dominated.
”I think there will be some positives,” coach Tony Bennett said. ”It’s just hard to grasp them right now.”
Allen, though, was having no such trouble.
”It was breathtaking,” he said. ”My last time playing Virginia on our home court. I’ll always remember it. It was good.”
Virginia: The Cavaliers are in a brutal stretch that saw them play at Syracuse, at home against No. 4 Louisville, in Blacksburg and then they have a game at home against No. 18 Duke and on the road at No. 8 North Carolina. In Virginia Tech, they encountered a rival badly needing something to go right.
”This is one of the best stretches that this team will ever have to face,” Bennett said. ”We understand that. We know that. That’s this league. You embrace it, you try to love the challenge and as a friend of mine said, be unflappable in it.”
Virginia Tech: The Hokies have plenty of talented scorers with five averaging in double figures, but they struggle mightily when some of them can’t get going. LeDay’s first points came with 16:47 to play, and No. 2 scorer Ahmed Hill’s first came with 12:12 remaining. The Hokies rallied and took the lead once they started connecting, but might not have had to climb all game had they been more productive earlier.
The Hokies have a quick turnaround, traveling to play at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
Virginia returns home to face Duke on Wednesday night.
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