January 2, 2016
Allen and Hudson carry Tech past NC State
Hokies win third ACC opener since joining the league
12OTF
NC State (10-4, 0-1) 3427768
Virginia Tech (9-5, 1-0) 24371273
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 4,971
  • High Points: 23 - Jalen Hudson, Seth Allen
  • High Rebounds: 12 - Zach LeDay

BLACKSBURG – Seth Allen and Jalen Hudson scored 23 points each to lift Virginia Tech past NC State 73-68 in overtime at Virginia Tech Carilion Court on Saturday afternoon.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Hokies, who moved to 9-5 overall and won their ACC opener for just the third time since joining the league. NC State, which had beaten the Hokies five straight times, fell to 10-4, 0-1.

“I’ve been preaching to the younger guys, guys that haven’t been in this league that whatever has happened in the regular season, you just let it go,” Allen said. “You could have won some games, you could have lost some games. This is the ACC, and when conference play starts, it’s a whole new season.”

“Collectively, with the guys we have left, we’re going to have to fight like that 18 more times,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “This was huge. We just kind of hung around and just kept fighting and just kept scrapping. We shot below our field-goal percentage numbers for the season and our free-throw numbers for the season and our 3-point field goal numbers for the season. We didn’t turn it over much, but all of our numbers were below where they typically are – but we just kept hanging around. That’s the first time we didn’t need a ‘Hail Mary’ to win a game.”

Allen hit 9 of 19 from the floor, including three 3-pointers. His 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 61. Virginia Tech’s Shane Henry blocked a layup attempt by NC State’s Anthony “Cat” Barbour with 1 second left in regulation that would have won the game for the Wolfpack.

Kerry Blackshear, Jr. scored six of his nine points in overtime for the Hokies, including a basket with 1:23 to go that gave Virginia Tech the lead for good. NC State made just one field goal in overtime and missed seven free throws.

Tech rallied in the second half behind Hudson, who scored 19 of his season-high 23 in the second half and overtime. He scored 12 of the Hokies’ 21 points during that second-half stretch. After taking just five shots in the first half, Hudson made 8 of 16 in the second half and regulation and hit 10 of 21 for the game before fouling out in overtime.

“I was just feeling it, and I was trying to stay aggressive,” said Hudson, who scored in double figures for just the fourth time this season. “I just kept driving it to the hole.”

“I’ve said since Thanksgiving of last year [2014] that he’s the most talented guy on our roster,” Williams said. “Potential is poisonous at times, if you never realize it. He doesn’t have to score 23 every night, but he has to be in a position that they’re guarding him like he potentially could score 23.”

Barber scored 21 points to lead the Wolfpack, who saw their six-game winning streak end. But he hit just 7 of 21 from the floor. Caleb Martin scored 14 points, but he hit just 4 of 17 from the floor.

The Wolfpack shot a season-worst 32.3 percent. They came into the game as the ACC’s worst shooting team (42.6 percent).

The Hokies now gear up for a matchup against in-state rival Virginia on Monday night. Tipoff is slated for 9 p.m. Tech will be looking to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Cavaliers.

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