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January 11, 2014

Hokies Fall Short To BC 62-59

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It was a cold shooting spell that once again stalled any type of chance for Virginia Tech.

The Hokies kept up with a hot shooting Boston College team in the first half, but went over eight minutes between field goals in the second half. Despite a comeback in the final minutes, a fallaway jumper by junior guard Adam Smith to tie in the final seconds fell short, in a 62-59 Eagles win Saturday afternoon.

"I felt good about the move," Smith said. "I felt like I got good space. I've made that shot plenty of times, I just left it short, man. When it left my hands, I just didn't get enough lift."

Smith finished with a team-high 12 points, though he and his teammates shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the second half.
"They're frustrated," coach James Johnson said. "That was a tough loss. We were in position to win the game and weren't able to close them out and make the plays we needed to. They're frustrated. We've gotta try to re-group and get ready for the next one."

In a nip and tuck first half, Virginia Tech found itself in the tempo it wanted. But at the 11:26 mark of the first half, the Hokies found themselves down 18-13 and called timeout. Virginia Tech quickly rebounded, with a 7-0 run to retake the lead at 20-18.

But Boston College tied the game at 20 and the teams continued to go back and forth. For each big basket the Hokies would get, the Eagles had an answer. A jumper by Smith that got a rise of the crowd was quickly answered by a layup from Boston College junior guard Olivier Hanlan. A three-pointer from Eagles junior guard Lonnie Jackson followed a three-pointer from Smith late in the first half.

Boston College shot 46.2 percent from the field and closed the half with seven three-pointers. But Virginia Tech closed with the momentum, thanks to a dunk by freshman forward Trevor Thompson and a jumper by freshman guard Devin Wilson and grabbed a 34-32 lead at halftime.

Smith had 10 points in the opening half, as the Hokies weren't far behind, shooting 41.4 percent from the floor and 7-11 free throw shooting. The Eagles made just one of four free throw attempts.

For the second straight game though, Virginia Tech ran into a cold streak in the second half. After a layup by freshman guard Ben Emelogu for the Hokies' first points of the second half at the 18:40 mark, they went over seven minutes without a field goal. Free throws kept Virginia Tech in it, but at the 11:42 media timeout, Boston College had a 44-40 lead.

"I don't have an answer for that," senior forward Jarell Eddie said. "It's just times in the game where we can't score the ball. We put ourselves into position with our defense and holding the other team without scores. But when you eight minutes without scoring, they're able to take the lead and get that momentum. It's just tough."

A three-pointer by junior forward C.J. Barksdale in the left corner ended the Hokies' field goal drought. His basket was their first in eight minutes and 46-44 with 10:38 to go.

But Virginia Tech's real life came with 4:13 to play, when Wilson capped a 7-2 run with a tough runner to give the Hokies a 56-55 lead. The Eagles retook the lead at 58-56, but Barksdale answered with another three-pointer with 1:36 to go to put his team back on top 59-58.

A missed three-pointer by Eddie though, gave Boston College another chance and the Eagles took advantage. Jackson hit a dagger of a three-pointer with 27 seconds left and a 61-59 lead.

With their final chance, Smith was short on a fall-away jumper in the final seconds. That, coupled with Virginia Tech's inability to guard the three-point line didn't make him feel any better. The Eagles shot 43.1 percent from the game, but knocked down 10 three-pointers.

"They shot the ball well," Smith said. "We adjusted midway through the first half and we were contesting a little bit better. But they shot the ball well. Even when we threw hands in their face, they made shots."

The Hokies fall to 8-7 and host Clemson at 7 pm Wednesday.

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