November 22, 2014
Tech falls late to Appalachian State, 65-63
Smith leads Hokies with 11 points
Appalachian State (1-2) 293665
Virginia Tech (2-1) 283563
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 2,970
  • High Points: 11 - Adam Smith
  • High Rebounds: 6 - Malik Muller

BLACKSBURG, Va. – It came down to the final second, but the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team was not able to come out with a victory, falling to Appalachian State 65-63 in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. The game, which remained close the entire second half, was decided on a circus shot with one second remaining. Adam Smith led the Hokies with 11 points in the game, while the Mountaineers were led by Frank Eaves’ 19 points.

With under 15 seconds to play, Eaves attempted to drive to the basket and break the late 63-63 deadlock. With seemingly no other option as the seconds ticked away, Eaves tossed up a shot towards the rim and the ball rolled around before falling in with one second on the clock. The Mountaineers (1-2) were granted the final possession after a lane violation by the Hokies (2-1) on the backend on a 1-and-1.

Joey van Zegeren tied the game at 63 when he made his first shot after being fouled trying to rebound a 3-point attempt by Malik Müller with 12 seconds on the clock. He never had the chance to break the tie after the violation.

Neither team ever led by more than two possessions in the second half. Appalachian State held a six-point lead early on, and Tech went up by the same number of points with under 11 to play.

The Hokies struggled to find their rhythm in the first half, trailing by as many as 12 in the opening period, but a 10-1 run starting with a three-pointer from Will Johnston with nine minutes until the break got the Hokies to within three by the final media timeout of the half. Tech took its first lead of the game after a Devin Wilson layup with 1:31 until the half, and that would begin the seesawing of control.

Tech was outrebounded 23-14 in the first half and 42-27 in the game, with zero second-chance points in the opening half. Despite the Hokies’ troubles on the boards, Tech’s defense was a bother for the Mountaineers all afternoon and forced them into making 18 turnovers.

Justin Bibbs scored in double figures for the third straight game, finishing with 10 against Appalachian State, while Wilson also added 10 points for the Hokies.

Tech will play away from Cassell for the first time this season when it returns to the court on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. The Hokies will take on Northern Iowa in Cancun, as part of the Cancun Challenge.

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