December 1, 2015
Hokies drop overtime affair to Northwestern in Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Seth Allen paced Tech with 25 points
Northwestern (6-1) 4528881
Virginia Tech (4-3) 3637679
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 4,879
  • High Points: 25 - Seth Allen
  • High Rebounds: 13 - Chris Clarke

BLACKSBURG – Seth Allen scored a season-high 25 points, but Virginia Tech couldn’t hold on to a slim lead in overtime and fell to Northwestern 81-79 at Carilion Court at Virginia Tech on Tuesday in a game that was part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

With the loss, Tech fell to 4-3 overall. Northwestern moved to 6-1.

Bryant McIntosh scored 19 points to lead the Wildcats, hitting 8 of 15 from the floor, including a couple of 3-pointers. He also grabbed five rebounds and handed out four assists.

McIntosh’s layup with 27 seconds left in overtime gave the Wildcats an 81-79 lead and turned out to be the game winner.

Tech called a timeout after McIntosh’s basket. Allen dribbled the ball around, but lost control of it. The Hokies’ Devin Wilson corralled it and pitched it to Chris Clarke, who missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer that would have tied the game.

“It was some of the same stuff we ran last year in that same situation,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said of the play. “We didn’t execute it. You have to be able to go somewhere on the bounce in that play. Otherwise, it doesn’t work. It stalled out pretty quick. We probably dribbled 11 times and threw up a prayer.”

The Hokies trailed by as many as 11 in the first half and 45-36 at halftime. Tech never led in the second half, but tied the game twice, with the final time coming on two Allen free throws with 55.3 seconds left that evened the game at 73.

Both teams had chances to win in regulation. McIntosh missed a layup with 47 seconds to go, and then Clarke missed a layup inside for Tech with 26 seconds left. On the final possession of regulation, the Wildcats ran the clock down and Tre Demps took a short jumper in the lane that didn’t fall with 2 seconds remaining. Allen’s halfcourt heave nearly went in at the buzzer, but didn’t and the game went into overtime.

Tech shot better in the second half, hitting 48 percent from the floor, and the Wildcats shot just 41.4 percent. Both teams made 3 of 8 from the floor in overtime.

“Our mentality was different on both ends of the floor,” Williams said of the second half. “We’re built for paint touches. If we just stay around the perimeter and take empty dribbles and shoot contested shots, we’ll struggle. When we’re going somewhere with the pass or the bounce, we’re much more effective.

“I’d say we want all of our guys to be a little bit more efficient. Not to be Herm Edwards [former Philadelphia Eagles coach], but the goal is to win. We need to become much more efficient in what we’re doing defensively and offensively. We try to create a scoring contest and that normally doesn’t work.”

Demps added 17 points for the Wildcats, and Sanjay Lumpkin scored 12.

Allen hit 7 of 15 from the floor, including 4 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc for the Hokies. Justin Bibbs added 17, while Clarke had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Tech continues its non-conference slate this Saturday when it takes on Arkansas Pine Bluff at Cassell Coliseum. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m.

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