GAME NOTES: With very little left to play for this season, the Virginia Tech Hokies will simply try to add to their win total when they host the Miami- Florida Hurricanes in an ACC battle at Cassell Coliseum.
Virginia Tech has had a miserable season, especially in conference play. The Hokies are just 1-10 against ACC foes, and they have lost 12 of their last 13 games overall. Playing at home has helped a little, with seven triumphs in 14 chances at Cassell Coliseum. They will host 17th-ranked Virginia next time out.
Miami has also struggled this season, a year removed from winning the ACC. The Hurricanes are an even 12-12 overall, including a paltry 3-8 in conference play. Bouts with Notre Dame and Boston College are next on the docket.
At the very least, the first meeting between these foes featured plenty of excitement. Virginia Tech claimed a 61-60 victory in overtime on a last-second free-throw from Garrius Adams. Miami won both matchups last season, and has won five of the last seven to claim a 13-11 lead in the all-time series.
The Hurricanes did manage to win their last bout, taking down rival Florida State, 77-73. Donnavan Kirk tallied 16 points to lead four players in double figures. Miami shot 47.9 percent from the floor as a team, while owning a 24-10 edge in points from the free-throw line.
The 77 points Miami scored against Florida State was an offensive eruption by its standards. The Hurricanes have scored 70 points in just two league tests this season. They are also the lowest scoring team in the ACC (61.7 ppg). while shooting just 41.6 percent from the floor. Rion Brown (14.5 ppg, 6 apg), who was a complimentary player for the Hurricanes' title run last season, is the only player averaging in double figures for the Hurricanes this time around. Brown finished with 14 points on just 3-of-11 shooting in the win over Florida State. Adams (9.9 ppg) can score, but he has been too inefficient, shooting 34.7 percent from the field.
There haven't been many highs for Virginia Tech this season, but the Hokies nearly accomplished an incredible upset last time out, but wound up dropping a 62-57 decision in double-overtime to 25th-ranked Pittsburgh. Virginia Tech only connected on 32.1 percent of its shots from the floor in the contest, including a 6-of-32 effort in the second period and overtime combined.
Like Miami, Virginia Tech has also struggled to find success on offense this season. The Hokies are only knocking down 41.1 percent from the floor, while ranking among the four worst teams in the ACC in scoring (66.3 ppg) and assists (11.4 apg). Jarell Eddie (14 ppg, 5.6 rpg) represents the best scoring option on the roster, although he is only hitting 36.5 percent from the floor. Ben Emelogu (11.1 ppg) can also score, but he is also below 40 percent shooting. The team's offensive efforts have also been hurt by the loss of Adam Smith (11 ppg), who has missed the last six games with a stress fracture and a strained calf.
This game isn't likely to break any offensive records. Even though Smith will be out again, the Hokies might be able to find their way to a victory at home.
Game Date and Time