BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — With the final seconds of the game clock quickly ticking away and his team trailed by one, Seth Allen found himself with the ball in his hands.
In other words, he found himself exactly where he wanted to be.
Allen scored the final two of his 17 points on a layup with 15 seconds left to lift Virginia Tech to a 62-61 victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
It was a game the Hokies needed after losing three of their past four games. Allen hit 6 of 9 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, but none were bigger than his final basket.
“That’s kind of what you ask for when you’re a senior and it’s your last year,” Allen said. “But my teammates having the trust and belief in me to have the ball in my hands . I just wanted to try and make a play. We had unbelievable spacing, unbelievable guys to make everything happen.”
Zach LeDay added 17 points for Virginia Tech, which led by as many as nine in the second half, but couldn’t put away the Yellow Jackets (11-7, 3-3), who had two chances in the final seconds to take the lead. Georgia Tech turned the ball over with :09 left, and then fouled Virginia Tech’s Justin Robinson, who missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Quinton Stephens then missed a contested jumper at the buzzer that would have won the game for Georgia Tech.
“It’s such a fine line,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said of winning and losing. “The margin is so thin. Most of our guy know what embrace is. We don’t use the word very often. We just say you have to hug it (the opportunity) . I thought we did a much better job of hugging it tonight.”
Stephens paced the Yellow Jackets with a game-high 18 points, hitting five 3-pointers.
“The shot by Quinton was a 15-foot elbow jumper, and that’s all we can ask for,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “We had a good shot for our guy who was making the most shots, and he just came up short.”
Georgia Tech: The depth-shy Yellow Jackets were picked to finish 14th in the 15-team ACC, but are becoming a tough out for ACC foes. Outside of a blowout loss to Duke on Jan. 4, the Yellow Jackets have been in every game.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies shot just 40 percent (22 of 55) and turned the ball over 13 times against a Georgia Tech squad that played mostly a 1-3-1 zone. But Virginia Tech found a way to win down the stretch against a team they couldn’t afford to lose to at home, especially considering the Hokies play six of their next eight games on the road.
STAT OF THE GAME
Allen’s 17 points tied a season high. After missing a game against Florida State on Jan. 7 because of a blow to the head suffered against NC State on Jan. 5, he is averaging 14.7 points and shooting 61.5 percent from the floor.
Georgia Tech concludes its three-game road swing on Saturday when the Yellow Jackets play at Virginia.
Virginia Tech closed a three-game home stand and now hits the road for two straight, starting with a game at Clemson on Sunday. The Hokies haven’t won there since 2009.
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