Not even its home white uniforms could stop Virginia’s recent road skid.
The Cavalier men’s basketball team dropped a 80-78 double overtime decision at Virginia Tech on Sunday, leaving the two rivals with a season split. The Hoos have lost three straight contests on the road after starting the season 6-1 in true road games. UVA already clinched at least a .500 record at 6-4 in true road games with trips to NC State and North Carolina remaining.
Much like the Villanova game that started this recent road trend, a last-second tip-in helped the Hokies get a victory as Ty Outlaw forced overtime with a putback to beat the buzzer.
”A lot of games end like that – there’s a play on the ball and a guy runs in and tips it in. Certainly happened against Villanova for us,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. ”But yeah it was there for the taking. Either a stop or salt it away or ice it away at the free throw line and you feel different right now. But hard fought game. Credit to Virginia Tech. Wild atmosphere. The games always seem to be like that here for sure.”
Outlaw’s game-saving bucket came after Cavalier freshman Ty Jerome missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 9 seconds remaining in regulation. The Hoos led 63-61 at that point thanks to a London Perrantes layup with 27 seconds to go. VT’s Seth Allen drove to the basket and when Isaiah Wilkins slipped over to challenge the shot, Outlaw slipped in behind the play and got the putback.
UVA missed four more free throws in the two overtime periods and finished 14 of 24 for the night. The Hokies made 20 of 26 attempts.
Still, the visitors had chances to capture the win in other ways. In addition to the lead late in regulation, Virginia edged ahead 68-65 in the first overtime with 1:03 to play but Tech tied it with a Justin Bibbs’ 3-pointer seconds later. Perrantes drove to the rim in the final 30 seconds to try to get the lead back, but his layup somehow settled to a stop on the back of the rim and VT had the possession arrow.
Perrantes led UVA with 22 points, though he shot 7 of 22 from the field. Kyle Guy scored 12 points off the bench, while Marial Shayok and Devon Hall added 11 and 10 respectively as starters.
The Wahoos led in the second overtime as well, but they couldn’t pull it out as Allen made a short shot in the final four seconds. Allen led VT with 20 points, while Bibbs added 16. Zach LeDay and Khadim Sy chipped in 11 and 10, respectively.
”I’ve never seen, first of all, a shot do that at that time,” Bennett said. ”London’s shot balances on the rim. That was quite a spectacle there. We had a chance to, I think, I don’t want to say win it for sure but at the free throw line. We got ourselves in the spot and if we could’ve just made [it], we could have made it real tough for Virginia Tech to get that one. We didn’t. We missed 10 free throws at important times and that really stung. They made some really good plays. We even threw a little zone at them and they banked in a three.”
The plays down the stretch squandered what had been a 14-point lead at halftime. That surpassed the 12-point lead at Syracuse that also ended up as a loss last week.
A 13-0 run to end the half created the lead at Cassell Coliseum against Tech, but some similar themes popped up again. Much like the losses at Villanova and Cuse to start this road skid, the Hoos couldn’t protect a double-digit lead due in part to defensive issues. Nova ripped off 72.2% shooting in the second half and made 10 trips to the free throw line. Syracuse sizzled with 73.7% shooting in the second half with 18 trips to the free throw line.
Virginia Tech copied that blueprint with 58.3% shooting in the second half with 12 trips to the free throw line.
”They attacked a little more and got aggressive,” Bennett said. ”Good teams are going to emerge or they’re gonna make those runs and you just try to be ready for them. We didn’t shoot it quite as well. … They tried to really put their heads down and go. We guarded them for a while early in the second half, but then it just kind of became a back and forth game and we had trouble finishing some big buckets and free throws.”