Hokies Can't Find Their Groove, Struggles Continue Against Boston College
After two made free throws by Makai Ashton-Langford with only 1:08 remaining in the game, the Hokies were down by a score of 76-64. Reality started to set in for Virginia Tech as Boston College looked to close out the game and sweep the season series against the Hokies. After their 2-7 start in the conference – identical to last season – Virginia Tech knew what this game meant for their season.
The Hokies rushed up the floor, and Grant Basile quickly knocked down a three to soften the lead. They then forced a steal, and Basile added two more to Tech’s total, bringing them within seven. Cassell Coliseum, while some fans already exited, was still expecting the Hokies to fight, and while they did, it wasn't enough, as two Chas Kelley III free throws with 14 seconds remaining extended the Eagles' lead to six, and the game was over.
After what was a promising win for this Hokie squad last time out against No. 6 UVa, Virginia Tech (14-10, 4-9 ACC) fell to Boston College (12-13, 6-8 ACC) by a final score of 82-76. This loss also adds to Tech head coach Mike Young’s 0-5 record against Boston College since he arrived in 2019.
Our comeback falls short— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) February 9, 2023
BC wins 82-76
"I thought we had great shots; I thought those kids took great shots, but they didn’t seem to have their same pop, and consequently, this is very rare for our team," recounted Mike Young on the struggles from deep.
"I thought that affected their defense as well. But you've got to continue to do the right things and rely on your habits defensively, and we didn't do that."
Throughout the first 10 minutes of the first half, the Hokies stayed neck and neck with the Eagles, and at the 8:31 mark, they were tied at 20. Justyn Mutts and Grant Basile got off to hot starts, both scoring six. But by the end of the half, the lead for Boston College had grown by 12, as they led 39-27 going into the half.
Out of the half, the Eagles were just as hot as they were in the first half, creating a couple of threes and receiving aggressive play from forward Devin McGlockton, who had seven in the half at the 14:22 mark.
Despite getting open looks from all around the perimeter, the shots from Sean Pedulla and Hunter Cattoor were just not hitting.
It was just one of those nights for the Hokies, who, even though they were struggling, were still shooting the looks that Boston College gave them from three.
"I mean, we had 40 against Virginia here on Saturday. I thought we had a pretty good mix of guys shooting the ball that we wanted shooting the ball," said Mike Young in reference to the Hokies sticking with their playstyle. "We're 25 games into this thing now, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we've got good players, we've got guys that can really shoot the basketball, just have to do it better on Saturday at Notre Dame."
Although it was a rough loss, Grant Basile continued to establish himself as a top guy for Virginia Tech. He finished the game with 33 points, his most since the season opener against Delaware State. He also added four assists, three rebounds, and two blocks.
"I'm very proud of him," exclaimed Mike Young of the Wright State transfer. "I hate that we negated such an effort by not playing our best basketball."
The Hokies' upcoming matchup will take place in the Purcell Pavilion as they travel on the road to take on Notre Dame on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.