WVU blows 17-point lead in loss to Virginia Tech
College Football Videos
BLACKSBURG, Va. — On a day in which Virginia Tech athletics director Jim Weaver announced his retirement effective at the end of the year, he received a rather sweet retirement gift courtesy of one of the Hokies' teams.
“It was a good day to give him a victory over West Virginia,” Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. “That's a good retirement present from the men's basketball team.”
Freshman Ben Emelogu scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Hokies past the Mountaineers, 87-82, on Tuesday.
Adam Smith added 19 points for the Hokies (1-1), who rallied from a 17-point deficit in the first half and avenged last season's 68-67 loss to West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va. Smith scored seven of Virginia Tech's last nine points, making several key plays in the final minute.
His three-point play with 33.2 seconds to play gave the Hokies an 83-79 lead. West Virginia's Remi Dibo then hit a 3-pointer with 23.7 seconds left to cut the lead to one, but Smith answered, hitting two free throws to push the lead to 85-82 with 16.2 seconds remaining.
West Virginia (1-1) had a chance to tie the game, but Nathan Adrian's 3-pointer was short, and Virginia Tech freshman Devin Wilson, a Montour graduate, got the rebound. Wilson made two free throws with 5 seconds left to seal the game for Virginia Tech.
“I think this is a sign,” Johnson said. “We've got to continue to get better. We've got some young guys who can do some things, and we've got to continue to hang in there. It's going to be up and down for them, but at least we've got multiple guys. If one guy is down, we've got some guys who maybe can step up. Tonight, we were able to get those three young guys (Emelogu, Wilson and Smith, who is a redshirt sophomore) in double figures, and that was encouraging.”
Smith hit 7 of 12 from the floor for the Hokies, who shot 45.6 percent from the floor (26 of 57), including 60.9 percent in the second half (14 of 23). He hit just 3 of 10 from the floor in Virginia Tech's loss to USC Upstate in its season opener.
“We didn't dwell on last Saturday's game,” Smith said. “We just looked forward. Everything was focusing on West Virginia. We didn't have our heads down. We came out ready to win.”
Emelogu scored 13 of his 22 in the first half, rallying the Hokies from that 17-point deficit. Virginia Tech went on a 12-1 run that ended with Emelogu's 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 41-36 at halftime. The Hokies then scored the first eight points of the second half, using that 20-1 run spanning both halves to get back into the game.
“We screwed the game up in the first half,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “I've got a whole bunch of freshmen who don't understand how hard you have to play. We got up, and we stopped guarding. And when you stop guarding, people take advantage of you.
“It's like your kids. You try to do the best job you can of telling your kids what is going to happen. Most of the time, they don't listen either. You've already been through it, so you're trying to say, ‘Don't make the same mistakes I made' and they just make the same mistakes their parents made. I guess that's what it is. I've told them and told them that you can't take plays off, and we continually take plays off.”
Wilson finished with 16 points for the Hokies, making 4 of 7 from the floor and all eight of his free-throw attempts. Jarell Eddie had 10 points - all in the second half.
Dibo led West Virginia with 17 points, while Eron Harris added 16 for the cold-shooting Mountaineers. West Virginia shot just 35.7 percent from the floor (25 of 70).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Linebacker Timmons hoping for contract extension
- Four helicopters respond to Route 51 crash in Rostraver
- Steelers plan to use smart pass rush against Seattle QB Wilson
- Penguins 4th line is showing promise
- Miami (Fla.) gets prepared to take on ‘physical’ Pitt team
- Police arrest man in Homestead bank robbery
- School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
- France honors attack victims in city subdued by mourning
- Century Inn owner hopes to reopen Washington County landmark, gutted by fire, by end of next year
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- Pittsburgh nonprofit 412 Food Rescue takes surplus food to needy