Miami's Tonye Jekiri, left, goes up for a basket against Virginia Tech's Zach LeDay during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Blacksburg, Va. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)
Don Petersen
March 05, 2016

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Friday evening's entertainment for several Virginia Tech players included watching the Miami-North Carolina game played Feb. 20 on YouTube.

The Tar Heels' 96-71 dismantling of the Hurricanes left the Hokies feeling inspired.

''We saw how Carolina just never let up,'' Virginia Tech forward Justin Bibbs said. ''They kept punching them in the mouth. We wanted to do what they did. They (the Hurricanes) were in the game mostly the whole game against us. We just had to keep throwing blows at them and keep hitting them and that's what we did.''

Bibbs threw his share of punches, scoring 19 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 77-62 victory over No. 7 Miami on Saturday.

Bibbs hit 7 of 10 from the floor, including five 3-pointers to lift the Hokies (18-13, 10-8 ACC) to their fifth straight win. Virginia Tech knocked off its second top-10 opponent of the season, having beaten then-No. 4 Virginia on Jan. 4.

Miami (24-6, 13-5 ACC), which had won three straight and eight of its past nine, could have assured itself a share of the ACC's regular-season crown with a win.

The Hokies led by 13 early in the second half before Miami used a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 39-33 on a 3-pointer by Angel Rodriguez with 14:29 remaining. That was as close as Miami got.

The Hokies answered with their own 10-2 run, getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Seth Allen and Zach LeDay to start the run.

''When you're playing any team, particularly a team as good as they are, they're going to go on a run,'' Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. ''It's not really when a team is going on a run. The way to handle it is how are you going to respond to the run. I thought our response was really good.''

Virginia Tech built the lead to as many as 19. Bibbs hit four of the Hokies' six second-half 3-pointers, helping them pull away. The Hokies shot 52.9 percent from both the floor (27 of 51) and beyond the 3-point arc (9 of 17).

''They defended us really well in the first half and I think we were a little too focused on what was at stake,'' Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. ''We wanted it so badly - to win and to solidify that we would get at least a share of the conference regular-season championship.

''I told the team afterwards, `It's not about focusing on the result. It's focusing on the process. The process is playing good defense, rebounding, and executing the offensive game plan. We just didn't do that.''

LeDay finished with 16 points for the Hokies, while Justin Robinson added 15 and Allen had 14.

Davon Reed paced Miami with 19 points, while Sheldon McClellan added 17.

QUOTE TO NOTE

''We were picked 14th - what do you think?'' Williams said when asked if his team would keep its underdog mentality. ''If you're picked 14th and finished sixth, what other mentality should we take? Without being a jerk, if you Google my story, you'll find that I'll always be able to answer that question that same way.''

TIP-INS

Miami: The Hurricanes missed on a chance to break the school record for regular-season wins. . The Hurricanes scored on back-to-back possessions just once in the first half. . Came into the game ranked third in the ACC in 3-point field-goal percentage (37 percent), but made just 4 of 24 for the game.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies have beaten two top-10 teams for the first time since sweeping North Carolina nine years ago. . This season marks the first time that Virginia Tech has beaten two ranked teams in six years. . The Hokies snapped a five-game losing streak to Miami. . LeDay scored in double figures for the 25th time this season. . LeDay hit at least two 3-pointers for the fifth time this season.

UP NEXT

Miami plays Thursday in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.

Virginia Tech plays Wednesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

You May Like