Winning with ‘spirit’: Hokies continue to play well minus Clarke
VIRGINIA TECH 91, BOSTON COLLEGE 75
boston — Two weeks ago, Virginia Tech’s season took a big hit when it lost one of its better players — forward Chris Clarke — to a season-ending knee injury.
Coach Buzz Williams is impressed with how the Hokies have responded.
Justin Bibbs scored 13 points, getting seven with a four-point play and a three-pointer 27 seconds later to cap a game-breaking run that carried Virginia Tech to a 91-75 win over Boston College on Saturday.
“I think they’re playing with great, great spirit,” Williams said after the Hokies won for the third time in four games without Clarke. “I think their chemistry and the way they’re working is at an all-time high.”
Zach LeDay led the Hokies (20-8, 9-7 ACC) with 18 points. Ty Outlaw had 16, and Seth Allen added 15.
The Hokies shot 75 percent in the second half, hitting 7 of 8 three-point attempts.
“Everybody was shooting, and we were moving the ball around,” LeDay said of the big second half. “When we’re shooting like that, nobody can stop us.”
Jerome Robinson scored 25 and Ky Bowman added 16 for the Eagles (9-20, 2-14), who have lost 12 straight.
The Hokies broke a 50-all tie when Justin Robinson hit the first of two free throws that triggered the key 21-6 run.
Following a driving basket by Allen, BC’s Mo Jeffers was whistled for a technical when he slammed the ball to the floor after being called for a blocking foul. Allen then hit two free throws, and LeDay had a threepoint play for a 56-50 lead.
The Hokies capped the run when Outlaw had a three-pointer from the left corner, Bibbs a four-point play after he nailed a three and was fouled by A.J. Turner, and Bibbs followed with another three from the top of the key.
“That’s the difference in the game. They’re playing to win, and we’re not,” BC Coach Jim Christian said. “We’re not shooting the ball with the confidence to win it, and we’re not getting the stops. Simple as that.”
There was a moment in the first half when nearly all 10 of the players on the court hit the floor during a long scramble for a loose ball; the ball rolled from inside the three-point line before it was tied up at midcourt for a jump ball.
A victory over BC was important for the Hokies’ NCAA tournament hopes. With two home games left before the conference tournament, they have things lined up well.
The Eagles, meanwhile, closed out their home schedule with another loss. With Athletic Director Brad Bates stepping down in June, Christian’s future will be in the hands of a new AD after another rough season.