January 5, 2016
Hokies upset No. 4 Virginia in Commonwealth Clash
Zach LeDay scored 22 points to help Tech beat a top-five opponent for the first time since 2011
(4) Virginia (12-2, 1-1) 214768
Virginia Tech (10-5, 2-0) 264470
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 6,157
  • High Points: 22 - Zach LeDay
  • High Rebounds: 7 - Zach LeDay

BLACKSBURG – Zach LeDay scored 22 points and Justin Bibbs added 16 to lead Virginia Tech to a 70-68 upset of No. 4-ranked Virginia in an ACC game played Monday night at Virginia Tech Carilion Court.

The Commonwealth Clash win enabled the Hokies to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Cavaliers and moved to 10-5 overall on the season, 2-0 in ACC play. Tech is 2-0 in league play for just the second time since starting ACC play in the 2004-05 season and the first time since 2006-07.

The Hokies beat a team ranked in the top five of The Associated Press poll for the first time since knocking off then-No. 1 Duke 64-60 on Feb. 26, 2011 at Virginia Tech Carilion Court.

“I thought the preparation by our assistants and the execution level of our team in a short turnaround was as good as it’s been,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “I don’t think we’re good enough for it to be pure basketball. I think it has to be more of a fight, pseudo-basketball, because that’s what gives us our best chance.

“I’m happy for our guys. I’m proud of our guys. I wish it counted for more than one win, but I think a lot of it has to do with – I don’t think you can have such a shallow answer and think that the preparation from Saturday evening to Monday evening is why we won [Tech beat NC State on Saturday]. I think you have to have a bigger perspective and think about the habits that we’ve tried to build since we got here. I don’t think you can beat a Hall of Fame coach, a team good enough to win a national championship, with just over 48 hours of preparation. I think it has to be the habits that you’ve tried to establish from the beginning. [Former players] Will Johnston and Christian Beyer have as much to do with this win as the kids that played tonight.”

Virginia, which had won 11 straight games, fell to 12-2 overall, 1-1 in the league.

Behind some sizzling second-half shooting – the Hokies made 15 of 26 from the floor (57.7 percent) in the final 30 minutes – Tech pulled away from the Cavaliers and then withstood a late UVA flurry. The game was tied at 50 before the Hokies went on a 17-4 run, grabbing a 67-56 lead on Justin Robinson’s basket with 2:11 remaining. Seth Allen scored six of his 13 points in the run, and Bibbs scored five.

UVA, though, went on a 12-2 run and cut Tech’s lead to 69-68 on two Malcolm Brogdon free throws with 8.5 seconds left. UVA then fouled Allen with 8.1 seconds to go, and Allen hit one of two free throws to give the Hokies a 70-68 lead.

The Cavaliers came down and guard London Perrantes drove to the basket, but LeDay blocked the shot with less than a second remaining. Shane Henry grabbed the loose ball and was fouled. He missed both free throws, but Perrantes’ fullcourt heave didn’t come close, and the Hokies registered the win.

“I’m not surprised at all,” LeDay said. “We play to win games. I came here to win games. It’s not surprising. We just need to keep on fighting and keep on working every day and keep on attacking practice with the same mindset. If we do that, we’re going to keep winning.”

LeDay made just one of his five shot attempts in the first half. He scored 18 points in the second half, hitting 7 of 10 from the floor, including three 3-pointers. He finished the game 8 of 15, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Bibbs, who did not hit a shot from the floor in the Hokies’ overtime win over NC State on Saturday, made 6 of 10, including 4 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Virginia got 22 points from Perrantes, who hit 7 of 12 from the floor – on seven 3-pointers. He just missed tying the building record for 3-pointers in a game by a Tech opponent.

The Hokies now gear up for its first ACC road game. The Hokies play at No. 14 Duke on Saturday. Tipoff is slated for noon.

“True confidence can only come from your work,” Williams said. “If you want to be good, you have to work. I don’t think there’s a shortcut around it. I don’t think you win five ACC games, like Coach [Tony] Bennett did his first year at Virginia, and do what he’s done unless you’re working, unless you believe in your plan and can execute your plan. A lot of people have a plan and can carve out a niche in that plan, but you have to be able to execute it.

“I’m thankful that we won. I’m not making light of it, but we still have nine road games and seven home games. When you show up as David every day against Goliath, you just kind of have a demeanor or a spirit of, ‘Well, we have to fight again.’ I’m not sure that’s not the right approach you need to have in life.”

This game was presented by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of Virginia Tech athletics. With a victory from Virginia Tech men’s basketball, they have added a half point for their school to the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash. The score for the Clash is now, University of Virginia 3.5 and Virginia Tech (2). Learn more about Virginia529 and this new competition at www.thecommonwealthclash.com

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