The Hokies had luck on their side tonight in Vegas after a miracle comeback to defeat Bradley 66-65 in their first overtime game of the season.
Summary: The Hokies started the game with 3 turnovers in their first four possessions, giving everyone a preview of how the entire night would go. Bradley went on a 12-2 run to lead by eight after Tech scored the first bucket of the game, but Erick once again led the team back and worked the game to within five. A normally poor three point shooting team, Bradley shot 6-12 in the first half, nearly doubling their average made threes per game. Virginia Tech struggled with turnovers, finishing with 16 in the first half to go along with only one assist. Erick Green led the Hokie scorers with 11 in the first after hot shooting, finishing 4-5 and 2-2 from long range. Bradley held a 10 point lead going into the second half after sloppy play by the Hokies.
The Hokies started off on an 8-4 run in the second half when Jarell received a live-ball technical foul when he taunted a Bradley player dribbling down the court. This allowed Bradley to regain momentum, but Jarell made up for it just a few minutes later, sinking back to back three pointers to get the game to within three. Tech was on a roll and eventually held a two point lead with two minutes remaining. After missed free throws from Green, the Hokies finished with two straight turnovers, the last by Erick, giving the Braves an easy layup to tie the game a 55. Erick was unable to make a shot at the buzzer to win.
In overtime, Tech found themselves down by four only two minutes into the period, and missed free throws allowed the lead to grow to five with only 50 seconds left. The game looked all but over, until the unexplainable happened. JVZ made one of his shots at the charity stripe, and then after a missed free throw by Bradley, Erick Green had an and-1 layup to cut the game to one. With 21 seconds left, Tech still had to foul, but Christian Beyer deflected a pass to force a turnover and gave Erick Green a wide open layup to take the lead. Rankin fouled a Bradley player, but he somehow missed both free throws giving the Hokies the victory.
Quick thoughts: Wow, wow, wow. I have no idea how we snuck out of that game with a win. The Hokies played extremely sloppy and ended up with 24 turnovers. Yep, you read that right, 24. Luckily, Bradley didn’t do much better and finished with 20 turnovers.
The Hokies were resilient tonight, and that made me proud. When the game seemed all but over, they never gave up, and ended up pulling out the victory.
We fought for rebounds tonight, and didn’t give Bradley many opportunities for second chance points.
We're going to be really fatigued for tomorrow's game, and I hope we can sneak out with a win on tired legs and then get some much needed rest.
I'm waiting for Jarell and Robert to both finish in double figures, we haven't had a game like that in a while. It would be hard for us to lose when our top three are playing well together (see first seven games).
Point Guards: If Erick doesn't lead the country in scoring tomorrow morning, I don't know what he has to do to get there. He had 31 points in his 41 minutes on the court. He was hot in the first half, but cooled down, relatively speaking, for the final minutes. Erick had eight rebounds to almost finish with a double-double. He was sloppy with the ball tonight, turning it over five times. He shot terribly from the free throw line, finishing 7-11 while missing a couple key free throws at the end of the game, almost costing us the win. Not a bad performance but the missed free throws and five turnovers stand out.
Marquis had three turnovers, so he didn’t really add much to the game in his 24 minutes on the court.
Shooting Guards: Robert Brown is a nifty passer of the basketball, and found Cadarian on a pick and roll for a dunk. His four second half assists helped get everyone involved in the game, after sitting for much of the first. He did have four turnovers and shot 1-6, so he certainly did not have stellar game.
Forwards: Jarell had countless OPEN threes tonight, and missed the majority of them. I can't wait until he gets his shot back; we need someone who can knock down the open threes every game, and Jarell is that guy. He did make back to back threes during the comeback in the second half, but that was his only bright spot offensively.
I was not expecting Christian Beyer to add much tonight, but he surprised me. He was everywhere; diving for rebounds, forcing turnovers, and ultimately got us the win. He was only credited for two steals, but caused about five of them, tipping it into other Hokies' hands. I heard his name so many times, and it was nice seeing a guy give it his all to get every rebound possible. I think he should teach everyone on the team how to box out, seeing that he’s the best we have. He may not be very athletic, but he makes up for it with his attention to detail and effort.
C.J. played sparingly tonight after Christian Beyer started to dominate the game.
C.J.'s summary: One rebound, one turnover, and three fouls in only 18 minutes of play.
Centers: Minus the turnovers, Cadarian played the best game he has all season. With 16 points, he tied his career-high in scoring. He was one rebound short of a double-double and was extremely physical fighting for balls and giving effort. Great bounce back performance from the big man.
Joey played sparingly tonight, but did pick up five rebounds and knocked down a key free throw near the end of the game.
Stat of the Game: Tech outrebound Bradley 43-36, one of their best efforts of the season. A lot of this was because of Beyer, but Cadarian was absolutely dominant tonight.
Mike's Player of the Game: Christian Beyer. Yeah, I'm kind of shocked too. The kid did everything we needed from him, and more. He didn't have an impact offensively (scoring three), but he lead the team in rebounding and had two steals, while getting his hand on the ball countless times.
Since the game wasn't televised, hopefully this recap gave you a better idea of what exactly went on during the game.
The Hokies play again tomorrow night at 11:30 p.m. and that game will be televised. Let's see if we can win the championship and build some confidence leaving this tournament! Go Hokies!