BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech guard Seth Allen scored on a layup with 3 seconds left to lift the Hokies past No. 12 Virginia 80-78 in double overtime in an ACC game played Sunday night at Virginia Tech Carilion Court.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Hokies and moved them to 17-7 overall, 6-6 in the ACC. Tech also snapped a two-game losing streak to UVA (18-6, 8-4) and beat the Cavaliers at Cassell Coliseum for the second straight season.
Tech won despite losing Chris Clarke to a knee injury with 9:49 left in regulation and despite losing Zach LeDay when he fouled out on a questionable charging call with 1:22 left, also in regulation.
“Toughness, grit, character, a lot of love between one another,” Tech coach Buzz Williams said when citing the reasons why the Hokies won the game. “Our personnel didn’t change in a positive way. So much of what happened in the overtime period was just scrambled eggs. We were playing a lineup we never played and trying to figure out what to do offensively.
“If you’re down 14 at half against a top-eight team in the country, the No. 1 defensive team, the second-slowest team possession team in the country … that’s like being down 30 against a normal team. We didn’t run any different plays. We didn’t do anything different defensively. That would be the best way I could answer it.”
In the second overtime, Tech’s Justin Robinson hit two free throws to give the Hokies a 78-76 lead, but UVA’s Devon Hall tied the game on a layup with 17 seconds to go. Tech worked the ball to Allen, who drove into the lane, shot over UVA’s Marial Shayok and scored. The Cavaliers’ London Perrantes attempted a full court shot as the buzzer sounded, but the ball came up well short, setting off a wild celebration.
“I just tried to go hard and then stopped on two feet so that I could make a strong play to the basket,” Allen said. “I saw that he [Shayok] was about to jump, so I just stopped and floated it in there.
“It’s big. All glory to God for letting this happen. It’s breathtaking. My last time playing Virginia on our home court … I’m always going to remember it.”
The Hokies, who trailed by 14 at halftime, rallied in the second half and forced overtime when Ty Outlaw tip-in a missed Allen shot with 1.5 seconds left to tie the game at 63.
In the first overtime, Tech trailed 68-65, but tied the game when Justin Bibbs connected on a 3-pointer with 46 seconds left. UVA couldn’t convert on the ensuing possession, as a Perrantes layup was stuck on the back of the rim with 22 seconds remaining, giving the Hokies a chance to win it. However, Allen’s 3-pointer was off the mark, sending the game to a second overtime.
Allen paced the Hokies with 20 points, hitting 6 of 14 from the floor, including three 3-pointers. Bibbs added 16 points, while LeDay finished with 11. The Hokies shot just 34.8 percent in the first half, but shot 58.3 percent in the second to climb back in the game and finished at 44.1 percent.
Perrantes paced the Cavaliers with a game-high 22 points.
“The Saturday after UVA [a 71-48 loss on Feb. 1], I said, ‘Guys, I don’t care if we win or lose the rest of the way. It doesn’t matter,’” Williams said. “[I told them] I care about how hard we play, I care about how much we care about one another, I care about how tough we are, I care about our opportunity to pay attention to details and try execute those details, I care about how many touches we have, I care about how many hugs we have, listen with your eyes … all the things that you learn in kindergarten, I think we got away from.
“Our values are what we’re going to be known by, and how will we handle our values over the next 48 hours. We’re going to play three games in six days and two of them are on the road. Your values can travel and that’s what we need to stay attached to.”
Tech has little time to celebrate the win, as the Hokies hit the road Monday for a Tuesday night game at Pittsburgh. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.