The Hokies got off to a disastrous start on senior night and never recovered, losing to Boston College 76-61.
Fresh off its euphoric win over then-No. 1 Duke, Virginia Tech fell behind early, 19-6, with Eagles guard Reggie Jackson on fire, shooting four-of-four from the field for 13 points.
The Hokies didn’t lead after the game’s opening moments, and the team’s frustration bubbled over in the second half as coach Seth Greenberg’s team once again played itself onto the NCAA tournament bubble.
“This is disheartening. I wouldn’t say it was disappointing,” Greenberg said. “But let’s be honest, I am proud of this team and I am proud of where we are.”
The Eagles lead eventually expanded to 32-14 with the Hokies being outshot 63 percent to 31 percent.
“I thought we would come out and play hard for the seniors,” said sophomore guard Erick Green. “We got embarrassed and I feel bad for the way the seniors went out.”
However, a 9-0 Tech run capped off by a Malcolm Delaney 3-pointer got the Hokies — and the crowd — right back in the game with a score of 32-23.
Delaney’s final jumper of the first half landed him in third place on Tech’s all-time scoring list, as he passed Dale Solomon. Delaney finished with 17 on the night and now stands at 2,143 career points. But Tech’s letdown loss overshadowed his accomplishment.
“This was not a good way to end our career at home,” Delaney said.
Boston College entered the locker room with a 35-27 lead, yet only had two out of five timeouts remaining. The Eagles lack of second half timeouts proved to be irrelevant, as they didn’t need to call a single one the rest of the game.
Delaney began the second period by nailing a 3-pointer to bring the Hokies within five, but the Eagles quickly countered with a three of their own.
The Hokies were unable to close the gap and found themselves trailing 55-41 with about 11 minutes remaining.
A large part of the team’s struggles came from behind the arc, where Tech shot a dismal three-of-17, including air balls by Delaney and Erick Green.
Things got ugly when a technical foul was called on Greenberg for arguing a non-call on a play in which he thought Terrell Bell was fouled. Seven minutes later, forward Jeff Allen also got nailed with a technical for arguing.
“I have no idea what he (Allen) got T’d for,” Greenberg said. “I didn’t use foul language. I had no conversation with the officials at all.”
The Hokies’ 15 second half fouls really hurt them as they attempted to full court press near the end of the game. Tech players got called for several non-shooting fouls that sent the Eagles to the line for one-and-ones and eventually two shots.
Green led all scorers with 21 points, while Allen added 14. Center Victor Davila struggled on the night, playing just 23 minutes and failing to convert numerous opportunities under the basket.
An embarrassing home loss to the Eagles was about the worst thing that could happen for the Hokies after their Saturday triumph over Duke.
Tech closes out the regular season on the road Saturday against fellow bubble team Clemson. The Hokies will then compete in the ACC Tournament.