Tech loses to Hokies, beat Tigers at home

Deivon Smith handles the ball in Tech’s home win over Clemson. Smith had 16 points, eight rebounds and a career high six assists in nearly 26 minutes. // Photo by Caitlin Aycock Student Publications

The Tech men’s basketball team traveled on Wednesday, Feb. 2 for their matchup against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Cassell Coliseum. The 9-11 Jackets entered the game looking to bounce back after their loss to Miami with a win against their 11-10 ACC opponents.  Unfortunately, Tech came up short 66-81 after battling hard against the Hokies.

The first half was competitive, and the score remained close as the two teams traded buckets back and forth. Senior guard Michael Devoe tied the game at 23, eventually finishing the game with 30 points as the Jackets’
leading scorer. 

At that point, the Hokies began to expand the gap with a 18-4 run. This offensive surge was ill-timed for Tech after multiple starters racked up fouls against the Hokies. As the half came to an end, the Jackets were only down by 11.

The gap widened as the Hokies continued to attack the interior. This aggression, along with their rebounding advantage, helped Virginia Tech convert several easy baskets, and with the Jackets in foul trouble, the Hokies capitalized at the free throw line. Ultimately, the Hokies’ advantage kept them in control of the game as Tech failed to rally back offensively. The Hokies moved to 12-10 after their victory, while the 9-12 Jackets looked to get back in the win column on Feb. 5 against the visiting Clemson Tigers.

Entering the game, Clemson sat at 12-9. Tech entered the game on the heels of two losses, while Clemson was looking to extend their streak after their win against FSU.  Tech won 69-64 and delivered Clemson their tenth loss of the year, defending McCamish Pavilion in this ACC match up. 

The Jackets’ production off the bench was the deciding factor in this victory with sophomore guard Deivon Smith leading the way and finishing with 16 points. Additionally, contributions from Deebo Coleman and Miles Kelly helped Tech maintain control of this game. The Jackets held an advantage from beyond the arc, knocking down 40 percent of their three pointers as opposed to Clemson, who only converted six of their 24 attempts. 

Tech established their lead in the first half after both teams came out fighting. With the score tied at 10, the Jackets caught fire and gained their largest lead on the Tigers after they went on a 16-4 run. Following this run, Tech closed out the half leading 33-20.

After the break, Clemson began fighting back into the game with two quick three pointers. While Clemson outscored Tech in the second half, they ultimately ran out of time as the Jackets maintained a steady offensive flow. In addition, some clutch team defense in the final moments of the matchup sealed the win for Tech.

The Tigers fell to 12-10 and will try to get back on track at home, while the Tech victory pushes their record to 10-12. Tech’s hope for a win streak was cut short as the Jackets traveled down to Miami and fell to the 17-10 Hurricanes on Feb. 9 in a 70-79 loss.