Dec 3, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Joey Van Zegeren (2) dunks the ball against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Carlsen-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies went to State College, Pennslyvania looking to pull off an upset victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions. For the Hokies, this seemed like a good matchup for them in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge and it produced a very close game between Virginia Tech and Penn State. Unfortunately for the Hokies, they were not able to get the victory.
Virginia Tech lost a very close game with the Nittany Lions prevailing by a final score of 61-58 at the Bryce Jordan Center. 58 points is the second lowest number of points the Hokies have scored with 54 against Northern Iowa being the only game where the Hokies scored less.
One player who shined for the Hokies in the first half more than the second half was Joey Van Zegeren who had 18 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Van Zegeren did get into foul trouble in the second half and fouled out before the end of the game.
However, Van Zegeren had a really good game as he also had 10 rebounds in his second career double-double. The issue for Van Zegeren was his free throw shooting as he missed all seven of his free throw attempts which made a difference.
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The Hokies did a fairly good job limiting D.J. Newbill to 18 points but the Nittany Lions were able to get enough points from other players. The Hokies were really good on defense as they forced 17 turnovers while only allowing 8 on the offensive end. The Hokies also had 12 offensive rebounds and 11 more shots than Penn State but the Nittany Lions had 14 offensive rebounds.
Justin Bibbs had 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals in what was a very strong game for him but he also fouled out just like Van Zegeren. However, Bibbs seems to be more consistent than Adam Smith and should be a reliable scorer for the Hokies in ACC play.
The main reason why Penn State won is because they got to the free throw line way more than the Hokies. The Hokies only made 4 of their 14 free throws largely due to the struggle of Van Zegeren at the line. Penn State only made 17 of their 30 free throws but they key is the fact that they had a much higher volume of free throws and did a good enough job taking advantage of them.
Fouls cost the Hokies tonight but this is a team that is clearly making some progress.