BLACKSBURG (HokieSports.com) – Landers Nolley II scored 29 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome a big game from Boston College's Steffon Mitchell, who led the Eagles to a 77-73 overtime win over the Hokies in an ACC game played Saturday at Carilion Clinic Court.
The loss was the Hokies' fifth straight, and Tech fell to 14-10 overall, 5-8 in the ACC. BC moved to 12-12 overall, 6-7 in league action, and the Eagles swept the season series from Tech.
Mitchell tied career highs with 21 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Eagles. He came into the game averaging less than 7 points per game and having scoring just 17 points in BC's previous four games, but he made 5 of 10 from the floor and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line, and he also dished out six assists.
Mitchell made a tough layup over Nolley with 11.6 seconds to go in overtime to give the Eagles a 75-73 lead in overtime. On the ensuing possession, Nolley missed a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key with 5 seconds remaining, and Mitchell grabbed the rebound. Tyrece Radford fouled Mitchell with 2 seconds left and the 6-foot-8 forward made both free throws to seal the BC win.
The Hokies had tied the game at 66 in regulation when Nahiem Alleyne made two free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining. BC's Derryck Thornton wasn't able to get a shot off before the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime.
Nolley made 12 of 22 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and he also grabbed 11 rebounds. Alleyne finished with 16 points and five rebounds.
QUOTES TO NOTE
Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young
(On what his team needs to do to end this losing streak)
"Just got to hang in there. It's college basketball. The sky isn't falling. We're going to be OK. We're going to come back Monday, and we're going to practice and we're going to get better. My team fought and competed like crazy. Boston College was just a little bit better than we were. We'll live to see another day and prepare the team to see a good Pittsburgh team – and play a better ballgame on Saturday and find a way to win."
(On handling the emotions during this losing streak)
"It's athletics. It's the game. It's not comfortable. It's not ideal, but big picture stuff. At the same time, we've got a number of games left here and want to win as many of those as we can. But I do have some perspective on who we're playing and the improvements that those guys are playing. I think the week off will be good for us. I think we need to step away and decompress and take a couple of days off and get our legs under us a little bit. Then come back and have three really good days of preparation for Pittsburgh."
(On Mitchell's performance)
"Mitchell hurt us. Mitchell came in averaging six, but his activity on the offensive glass was a concern. He was pretty good up there, too. That kid had 21 points and 15 rebounds. I mean, c'mon man. We've got to do a better job than that on a player like Mitchell, but that's not taking anything away from Mitchell. He was active. He was hard-nosed."
The Hokies now have a week off before returning to the court Saturday when they play Pittsburgh at Carilion Clinic Court. The Hokies have won four straight against the Panthers. The game tips at 6 p.m.