Virginia Tech basketball: Close, again, but no cigar

vatechVirginia Tech had the game in its hand. A Miami turnover with 21.9 seconds to go gave the Hokies the ball for the last shot that, if it were to go in, would win the game.

As happened too often down the stretch, Virginia Tech couldn’t execute, ending up with Joey van Zegeren to the line to test his 36 percent shooting stroke.

Van Zegeren missed both free throws, and then star Jarell Eddie failed to convert a late bucket that could have sent the game to overtime in what turned out to be a 57-53 loss.

Four points, again. That was the margin that regular-season champ Virginia and #4 seed North Carolina defeated Tech by in recent weeks.

Close, again, but no cigar, will be the lasting memory of this 2013-2014 season, which finishes for the Hokies at 9-22, and just 2-17 in the ACC.

“Just the most proud of the way they competed and they fought and they gave effort, and that’s something that those guys have been doing all season long,” Johnson said afterward. “They could have easily packed it in. They could have easily packed it in. And we talked about this is a new season, and you come out and let’s play like it is.

“It’s a one-game tournament, and they laid it all on the line and played hard, competed, played with a lot of effort, a lot of energy, and they left it all out there tonight,” Johnson said.

         
 

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