The 13-12 Miami Hurricanes stormed their way into Blacksburg to take on the 15-10 Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hurricanes came into this game not having lost a game this season when leading at half time. The Hokies, coming off a win against Pittsburgh Saturday night was reared up and ready to go. The crowd at Cassel continues to impress this writer, night in and night out. Keith Stone (not to be confused with Evan Stone), from Miami, who averaged 3.9 points per game decided to have a career first 5 minutes of this game with 7 points and a monster dunk to put the Hurricanes up 13-4. Something I noticed about John Ojiako; he shoots a free throw higher than the clouds. Now, back to the game.
The Hokies, behind some stellar defense and a couple of threes stormed back and went on a 13-4 run to tie the game at 17. Miami did weather the storm and decided to go on a run 9-0 run of their own. Nolley stopped that run with a nice layup, scoring his first points of the night.. Miami decided it didn’t want to miss shots anymore, while the Hokies got sloppy with a couple of turnovers in the latter part of the first half. Ojiako had a THUNDEROUS follow up slam to get the crowd pumped and the Hokies were down five with four minutes to go. Quick side bar – why is every commentator amazed that Mike Young likes popcorn? Who doesn’t like popcorn?!
The biggest part of the first half? Mike Young getting T’d up for a Radford charge foul that was clearly a blocking foul. When coaches get T’d up when their team is down, it is usually because they want to get their team fired up. The crowd went bananas and we would see if the team would follow suit. If you looked at just the stats, you could tell why the Hokies were down at half. The Hokies turned the ball over 7 times and were outrebounded by 4. The Hurricanes made all 10 of their free throws to lead by 9.
Let’s jump into the second half!
These teams both came out hot, scoring 17 points in the first 3 minutes in the second half. The beginning of the second half was highlighted by an amazing block and layup by Landers Nolley to get the Hokies within 6. Every time the Hokies would close the gap, the Hurricanes would rain another 3 or blow by a defender for an easy lay up. I spoke with Mike Young about this on Saturday after the Pittsburgh game and Tyrece Radford continues to show up night in and night out and do something spectacular. He highlighted a run to get the Hokies within five, but Miami answered (as they do) to get back up eight. Jalen “7 foot” Cone hit a big three and Radford came back down with an and one to get the Hokies within two with 8:30 to go in the second half.
The Hokie crowd continues to get louder and louder as the home town team scratched and clawed their way back in. Jalen Cone decided to take over, making five straight points and seven out of nine to have the Hokies on top for the first time since the first half with eight minutes to go! Tyrece Radford, at this point in the game (5:06 to go) had nine rebounds and eighteen points; the eighteenth coming on a monster dunk that had Miami calling a time out because the momentum had fully swung.
The timeout called by Jim Larranaga helped the Hurricanes get this game close. With 2:29 seconds to go, 72-71, lead by Wong, scored 11 straight points for Miami to take a 74-72 lead. This game was tied with 1:00 minute to go after two clutch free throws from Landers. Miami had the ball but Wong picked up the ball, and traveled. Turning the ball over and giving it back to the Hokies with under a minute, Radford spun around the Miami defense like it was the waltz to take a 76-74 lead. An unbelievable defense play by Bede on a drive by Wong to tie him up on a drive for a jump ball. The possession arrow pointed towards the Hokies, giving them the ball back with 15 seconds to go. Jalen Cone made one of his two free throw, giving the Hurricanes an opportunity to tie this game. McGusty drove and got fouled for an and one. McGusty made his free throw to tie the game and send this to overtime.
The Hokies got up to a 4 point lead, followed by a massacre of offensive rebounds for the Hurricanes, which lead to a three to make the game 81-80. Jalen Cone came down the floor and said ‘NOT UP IN HERE’ and made his 3rd three pointer to get the Hokies back up 4, 84-80. Wong for Miami called ‘Bank’ even though the bank was closed to get the Hurricanes within 2. Nolley missed his shot and the time was ticking down in overtime. Wong took a three point shot from the moon and missed, offensive rebound by Miami, Wong with a turn around fade away to tie the game! The Hokies couldn’t connect as we jump into double overtime tied at 84-84.
Double overtime began with both teams missing a combined 4 shots until Miami scored points in the paint to go up 86-84. Tyrece Radford was not going to let Miami lead for long as he drove and tied the game at 86-86 as we went to a TV timeout. Don’t worry, Hokies, I have a big presentation in the morning, it’s fine. Stone came down the floor and air-balled the three point shot worse than I do. Nolley took the offense into his own hands on the possession, but couldn’t connect. The Hokies fouled Wong, in which he made both free throws to go up 88-86. Tyrece Radford then did something I only do in Horse. HE SHOT THE BALL OVER THE BACKBOARD AND MADE IT INTO THE HOOP! Radford on the defensive end then came down and jump balled Wong. Bede dribbled his way and made a 10 footer to get up 90-88. Wong, AGAIN, comes down and makes a beautiful 12 footer to tie the game. The Hokies could not close, again, and we are off to TRIPLE Overtime 90-90.
Triple overtime began the same way as double overtime; with both teams missing their first shots. PJ Horne decide to truck stick a dude on a screen, which lead to Miami making two free throws to lead 92-90. With those free throws, Miami was 25-25 from the line. Jalen Cone missed a three, with Miami driving into Ojiako for a foul. McGusty missed the first free throw of the night for Miami, made the other to lead 93-30. Nolley missed a deep two pointer, not sure why he was shooting that leading to another missed possession for the Hokies. Evan, I mean Keith Stone, who had 18 rebounds, missed and made a free throw to get up 94-90. Ojiako cleaned up a missed shot and slammed it home to get the Hokies within two. The Hokie defense gave up the baseline for McGusty to lay up the basket, up 96-92. The Hokies turned the ball over and McGusty put one off the glass to get up six. Jalen Cone comes down and hits a big three to close the cap at 98-95. The Hurricanes took the air out of the ball, ticking the clock down and ending with a left handed off the glass layup, going up 100-95. Wong gets fouled after a miss by the Hokies. He makes his free throws and the triple overtime games end in a Hokie loss, 102-95.
Hell of a game.