March 5, 2016
Hokies close regular season with 77-62 upset of No. 7 Miami
Justin Bibbs' 19 points led Tech, which secured a winning season in league play
(7) Miami (24-6, 13-5) 214162
Virginia Tech (18-13, 10-8) 324577
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 8,911
  • High Points: 19 - Justin Bibbs
  • High Rebounds: 5 - Justin Robinson, Kerry Blackshear Jr.

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech’s Justin Bibbs scored 19 points to lead the Hokies to a 77-62 upset victory over No. 7 Miami on Saturday at Virginia Tech Carilion Court in the regular-season finale for both squads.

The win marked the fifth straight for the Hokies, who moved to 18-13 overall, 10-8 in the ACC. Tech solidified a No. 6 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament.

More impressively, the Hokies knocked off its second top-10 opponent of the season, having beaten then-No. 4 Virginia on Jan. 4. The last time Tech did that came in 2007 when the Hokies beat then-No. 5 Duke, then-No. 1 North Carolina, and later, then-No. 4 North Carolina. Miami (24-6, 13-5 ACC), which had won three straight and eight of its past nine, could have assured itself a share of the ACC’s regular-season crown with a win.

Tech also hadn’t beaten two ranked teams in the same season since 2010.

“Any time you’re trying to make up ground, and I don’t even know if that would be the accurate assessment of what it was when I got there,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “Ground means you’re on top. We were under the ground and Will Johnston, Christian Beyer, Adam [Smith], Joey [van Zegeren], Malik [Mueller] all allowed us to do every single day what we believed to be right and instill the habits that we want to be about on and off the floor.

“I’m thankful this group of kids is being rewarded, but it speaks to the last group of kids that were not rewarded – and their resilience and their toughness.”

Bibbs hit 7 of 10 from the floor, including five 3-pointers to lift the Hokies. He has now made at least three 3-pointers in 10 games this season.

The Hokies led by 13 early in the second half before Miami used a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 39-33 on a 3-pointer by Angel Rodriguez with 14:29 remaining. That was as close as Miami got.

The Hokies answered with their own 10-2 run, getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Seth Allen and Zach LeDay to start the run and they never looked back.

“We came together last night and watched how they played at North Carolina,” LeDay said, referring to Miami’s 96-71 loss to the Tar Heels on Feb. 20. “We said, ‘We can get them at Cassell. If they played like this at Carolina, we can definitely get them.’ We knew if we threw that first punch and keep on throwing punches and play together … we did that and it was a good game for us.”

“We saw how Carolina just never let up,” Bibbs said. “They kept punching them in the mouth. We wanted to do what they did. They [the Hurricanes] were in the game mostly the whole game against us. We just had to keep throwing blows at them and keep hitting them and that’s what we did.”

Tech built the lead to as many as 19. Bibbs hit four of the Hokies’ six second-half 3-pointers, helping them pull away. The Hokies shot 52.9 percent from both the floor (27 of 51) and beyond the 3-point arc (9 of 17).

LeDay finished with 16 points for the Hokies, scoring in double figures for the 25th time this season. Justin Robinson added 15, scoring in double figures for the sixth time in seven games, and he also dished out a career-high eight assists. Allen had 14.

Davon Reed paced Miami with 19 points, while Sheldon McClellan added 17.

The Hokies will play an ACC second-round game at 9 p.m. on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

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