Hokies Defend Home Court
Virginia Tech returned to Blacksburg riding a two game losing streak but defended their home court against Syracuse.
LeDay, who had some strong words for his teammates following Saturday’s blowout loss at Florida State, set the tone early with a couple of dunks. He connected on 9 of 13 from the floor, including a 3-pointer, to help the Hokies (13-3, 2-2 ACC) snap a two-game losing streak and extend their home winning streak to 15 games.
LeDay led the way for the Hokies as they went on to defeat the Orange, 83-73 defending their home court on Tuesday night.
“I had to step it up, but more so defensively,” LeDay said. “That’s what we were focused on. We were scoring 80 points on the road, but we were giving up 100. Once we cut that down, that helped, and being at home helped, too.”
Justin Bibbs started the game not shooting well at all from the field but a couple open three-pointers was what gave him momentum to keep shooting the ball as he finished with 18 points going 5 of 13 from the field.
Virginia Tech had four starters in double-digits along with Seth Allen who dropped 11 points off the bench. For Allen, this was a big game for him and the fans knew it as they gave him a standing ovation when he checked in the game early in the firs half.
Allen’s return from a head injury suffered in the N.C. State game helped the depth of the Hokies, who normally play just eight players.
The game changer for the Hokies was that they won the turnover battle. Against the Wolfpack and Florida State, Virginia Tech turned it over a combined 36 times but against the Orange they only turned it over six times which is a season-low for the Hokies.
“That was the deciding factor in this game,” Buzz Williams said. “The kids came out to play and they were ready for the challenge ahead of them.”
Even though this was the fourth game for the Hokies in conference play, this was a must win game for the team. They entered the game with one conference win which came at home against Duke who was at that time ranked No. 5 in the nation.
When Virginia Tech hit the road for the two game road trip they also hit a wall. Khadim Sy rolled his ankle during shootaround prior to the N.C. State game and was ruled out against the Wolfpack. Florida State, who hasn’t lost a game at home all season was given a test by the Hokies early, but the size and strength of the Seminoles would overpower the Hokies giving Tech their second consecutive conference loss.
“We needed this win — our fans needed this win,” Williams said. “I thought we were much more connected. Obviously, we executed the scheme of what we wanted to do. That’s why we won. I think we’re a good offensive team. There are ways that I think we can be better, but when our turnover rate is low, good things are going to happen.”
Virginia Tech plays the second of three straight home games on Saturday when it takes on Notre Dame. The Hokies have beaten the Irish once in the series — in the final of the 1973 NIT.