Hokies fall short to Hurricanes 69-68

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – In its regular-season finale, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team fell on the road to Miami in a close one, 69-68, inside the Watsco Center on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies (21-10, 10-8 ACC) finished the year with five ACC wins on the road, a program best, while the Hurricanes (22-8, 11-7 ACC) won their fourth straight game.

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Junior Justin Robinson registered a team-high 18 points and six assists, junior Chris Clarke picked up where he left off from earlier in the week versus No. 5 Duke with 10 points and five rebounds and redshirt sophomore Kerry Blackshear Jr. tallied 11 points and five rebounds, giving the Hokies three players in double figures.

Tech started the game strong, going up 10-2 in the opening minutes behind Blackshear and Robinson getting to the charity stripe. Miami fought back and cut the deficit to three points following a dunk by Lonnie Walker IV at 21-18, but redshirt junior Ahmed Hill found his groove from downtown and nailed back-to-back triples, extending the Hokies’ lead to nine points at the 6:14 mark. Redshirt freshman Tyrie Jackson completed a put-back with a minute left before intermission, giving Tech a 39-32 lead heading into the locker room. It fell to 18-2 when owning the lead at halftime this season.

The Hurricanes began the second half with an 18-5 run, gaining a six-point advantage the first five minutes. Robinson answered with a trey and a layup to tie it at 54-all, though, at the 10-minute mark. Miami’s Dejan Vasiljevic got hot for a moment, scoring eight points in a two-minute span to give the U its biggest lead of the day with eight minutes to go. The Hokies responded with forcing a four-minute scoring drought from the ‘Canes to cut it to a two-point game at 64-62. Tied at 68-68 with 12 seconds remaining, Miami’s Chris Lykes got fouled on a drive to the basket and the freshman hit a free throw to seal the win.