BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech’s Dorian Finney-Smith tipped in a Robert Brown missed 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to lift the Hokies past Boston College 66-65 in an ACC game played Sunday night at Cassell Coliseum.
With the win, Tech moved to 14-11 overall, 3-7 in the ACC, and snapped a four-game losing streak to the Eagles. BC fell to 8-17 overall, 3-8 in the league.
“They grew up a little bit tonight,” Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said of his team, which has won two of its past three games. “They showed they wanted to win. They showed great resiliency. They showed some toughness. I’m not saying we were good on the defensive end. They made us guard for long periods of time, and we didn’t guard their spread offense very well.
“But we stayed with it and made some plays. We made some plays we hadn’t made. It’s good to find a way to win a close game. We’ve got something we can build on.”
Finney-Smith scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but none more important than his last one and the last of Tech’s 18 offensive boards for the evening.
After BC’s Jordan Daniels missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 26.2 seconds remaining, Tech called a timeout with 10.1 seconds left, and the Hokies got the ball to Erick Green, who drove down the lane and threw it to Brown. The sophomore launched a 3-pointer at the top of the key with four seconds left that bounced off the rim, but Finney-Smith tipped it in to give the Hokies a one-point lead.
“It was slow motion,” Finney-Smith said. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve got this.’”
“Everyone knew Erick Green was going to get the ball, but he swung it to Robert Brown, and I had a wide open lane to get the rebound. It felt good. My teammates and coaches kept telling me to go to the offensive boards and that’s what I did.
“We’ve had a lot of close games. It feels really good to pull out one.”
BC called a timeout after Finney-Smith’s tip-in for a final attempt. Lonnie Jackson took a long 3-pointer just inside of the halfcourt line that was off the mark, and Tech prevailed.
Finney-Smith hit 7 of 10 from the floor and grabbed seven offensive rebounds to pace the Hokies, who trailed for much of the game. The freshman from Portsmouth, Va., came off the bench for just the second time this season, as Greenberg shook up his lineup following the Hokies’ 65-49 loss at Miami on Thursday night.
Greenberg started freshman C.J. Barksdale for the first time this season and inserted guard Dorenzo Hudson back into the starting lineup. Hudson had come off the bench the previous seven games – with the Hokies going 2-5 in that stretch – but he carried the Hokies down the stretch against BC, scoring all 11 of his points in the final 10 minutes.
“I told them before practice [Saturday] that the five hardest-playing guys were going to play,” Greenberg said. “The culture of this program is being tough. I was not happy with how competitive we were, and we’re just trying to find one thing that can help us redefine ourselves. Those five guys were the five hardest-playing guys that day.”
The Eagles lost despite shooting a season-high 55.8 percent from the floor (24 of 43) – and easily the best by a Tech opponent this season. The Hokies had allowed just one team to shoot better than 50 percent all season.
The Eagles, who were looking for their first road win of the season, also made nine 3-pointers and turned the ball over only 10 times, but they got drilled on the boards, getting out-rebounded 33-19. The Hokies had 18 offensive rebounds.
Ryan Anderson led BC with 17 points, and Jackson finished with 14.
Green extended his streak of scoring in double figures to 26 games with 10 points. Victor Davila also scored 10 for Tech.
The Hokies now make another trip to Florida, heading to Tallahassee for a game on Thursday night against Florida State. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MBBall).
For updates on the Hokies, follow Jimmy Robertson on Twitter (@jrobIHS).