The Eagles were in desperate need of a win after two consecutive road losses last week, but were not quite able to finish the comeback in overtime tonight. They came out of the gate with some much-needed intensity, holding the Hokies to under 20% shooting in the first ten minutes and fighting for offensive rebounds and loose balls. They were aided by an ice-cold touch from the three-point line for Virginia Tech, who eventually improved to 26% 3FG for the half. Jerome Robinson, meanwhile, had the hot hand early, dropping 11 points on 3-3 3FG in the first eight minutes. Ky Bowman had eight first half rebounds, three assists, and brought the crowd to their feet with a highlight reel play. After leading for most of the game, the Eagles allowed Virginia Tech to go on a 6-0 to end the half, leaving them in a five-point hole at the break.
The Hokies stretched the lead to 9 in the opening minute of the second half and the Eagles struggled to get anything going offensively. After a 7-0 run put BC down 11, Jim Christian got fired up by a no-call on a contested put back and let the refs hear it. The resulting technical got both the crowd and team fired up, and BC went on a 16-6 run to pull back within 1. The Hokies struggling offense chose the right time to heat up, and the open corner 3s that they had been missing most of the night started to fall. Three triples for the Hokies halfway through the second period helped push their lead back up to 12. Ky Bowman sparked a 9-point run, but it did not appear to be enough as the Eagles were staring down a 7-point deficit with just one minute to play. Robinson was fouled on a 3-point attempt and Justin Bibbs’ protests got whistled for a technical. Suddenly, Robinson was knocking down five free throws to draw within 2. Robinson was fouled again on the next possession and hit another pair of free throws to tie the game. After a defensive stop, he was unable to convert the buzzer beater and the game was sent to overtime.
BC managed to recover the lead two minutes into the overtime period; it was their first lead since the opening half. After a Virginia Tech timeout, however, the Hokies were able to execute with a pair of killer 3s and the 5-point lead that the Hokies took into the final minute was just too much for the Eagles to overcome as the offense finally sputtered out. They would end up taking the deflating 85-80 OT loss.
Steffon Mitchell, who sat out the second half against Syracuse last week with a head injury, made his presence felt tonight with nine points and twelve rebounds. Robinson led all scorers with 32, and his clutch free throw shooting at the end of regulation singlehandedly overcame the 7-point deficit. Despite the gutsy play in the final minutes, the Eagles did not do enough to earn the victory tonight. They continued to struggle in the same areas that they have for much of the season; offensive consistency from starters besides Robinson, sloppy passes leading to unforced turnovers, and a tendency to neglect perimeter defense came back to bite this team again. With their NCAA tournament hopes fading now, the Eagles’ resilience will be tested in the coming stretch. They will try to end their only three-game losing streak of the season so far when they host Georgia Tech for a noon tipoff on Sunday.