Robinson, Hokies too much for NC State

NC State (16-8, 6-5) 344175
Virginia Tech (17-7, 6-5) 473885
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,275
  • High Points: 32 - Justin Robinson
  • High Rebounds: 4 - Chris Clarke, Kerry Blackshear Jr.
2017-18 Virginia Tech Men's Basketball Ticket Information
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BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech used a career-high 32 points from point guard Justin Robinson to notch an 85-75 ACC victory over NC State on Wednesday evening at Carilion Clinic Court.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 17-7 overall, 6-5 in the ACC. The Wolfpack fell to 16-8 overall, 6-5 in league play. Both squads are now in a four-way tie for fifth place in the ACC standings.

Robinson connected on 11 of 17 from the floor, including two 3-pointers, for the Hokies, who bounced back from Saturday's loss to Miami and have now won four of their past five games. Blackshear Jr. added 18 points for Virginia Tech.

Coming off an 84-75 loss to the Hurricanes — their third ACC loss at home this season — the Hokies responded by shooting a sizzling 63.5 percent from the floor (33 of 52) against the Wolfpack. That field-goal percentage was Virginia Tech's best against an ACC foe this season, which came, interestingly enough, after the Hokies’ spent their two days of preparation working solely on their defense.

“It’s counterintuitive,” Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “It’s a paradox. It’s ironic.

“We haven’t run one play since the last time I saw you [the media]. But I think when you’re trying defensively to do the right things and you’re going against what we were doing, you understand the value of what you want to do offensively. I’ve probably been too pretty and too cute, and ‘Oh, look at what we’ve done offensively and look at all these numbers.’

“I need to do a lot better job. Really thankful for how we play offensively, but I really think it’s because of what we did defensively.”

Tech took control in the first half, using a 16-3 run and taking a 41-26 lead on Robinson's basket with 2:55 left in the half. The Hokies shot 64.5 percent in the first half (20 of 31) despite making just one 3-pointer and led 47-34 at halftime — the second-most points allowed by NC State in a half this season.

The Wolfpack, who had four wins over teams in the top 20 of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) coming in, saw their three-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the third time this season when scoring more than 70 points. They trailed the entire second half, coming as close as 61-55 on a 3-pointer by Sam Hunt with 10:52 remaining, but getting no closer than seven the rest of the way.

Omer Yurtseven led the Wolfpack with 20 points, while Markell Johnson added 15 points and 10 assists. Torin Dorn, the Wolfpack's second-leading scorer coming in at 13.4 points per game, finished with just four and saw his streak of scoring in double figures end at six games.


• The Hokies have won four of their past five, and in those four wins, no team has shot above 44 percent from the floor.

• Tech’s three 3-pointers made tied for its season low (Presbyterian).

• Robinson scored in double figures for the 11th straight game. He is averaging 18.1 points per game in that stretch and shooting 50.4 percent from the floor (40.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc).

• Robinson’s 32 points were the most scored by a Hokie this season and the most by a Hokie since teammate Justin Bibbs scored 32 points vs. Wake Forest on Jan. 13, 2016.

Devin Wilson got to start in place of Ahmed Hill, and the senior scored six points and dished out an assist in just his fourth start of the season. He played 24 minutes – his most in ACC play.

• Blackshear scored in double figures for the 16th time this season.

• Bibbs scored 11 points, marking his 16th game in double figures this season. He moved past Carolos Dixon into 21st place in career scoring at Tech. He currently has 1,350 career points.


The Hokies play at rival Virginia on Saturday — and the Cavaliers will have the extra motivation of possibly moving to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll next week following Villanova's loss Wednesday night. The game tips at 6 p.m.

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