The Virginia Tech Hokies fell behind the Michigan Wolverines by 15 points on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. However, the Hokies mounted a huge comeback to defeat the Wolverines, 73-70.
"I didn't think we were playing hard, I didn't think we were playing tough. I understand the environment, I understand we've been gone nine days, I get all of that," Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. "I thought over the last 30 minutes, there was more of a distinct brand of what we want to be about."
Duncan Robinson hit a three-point jumper for Michigan with 42 seconds left to pull the Wolverines within one point. Then, Michigan got the ball back with a change to take the lead, but Zak Irvin missed a jumper from two-point range.
"We were trying to isolate him, and they took him away a little bit," Wolverines coach John Beilein said. "We know what to do when they take him away, and we didn't do it."
Justin Bibbs made back-to-back free throws for Virginia Tech with 3.9 seconds left. Robinson had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but his shot from the left wing missed.
Zach LeDay scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half. At one point in the first half, Virginia Tech trailed 23-8. The Wolverines led the Hokies at halftime, 39-30.
"I just came out in the second half and I wanted to be aggressive," LeDay said. "In the first half, I was trying to feel it out, and Coach told me not to be like that, he told me to just be aggressive, go full throttle, and that's what I did."
Seth Allen’s bucket gave the Hokies a 68-67 lead with 1:46 left in the game, which was the only lead change in the contest.
Michigan was led by Zak Irvin with 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field. He chipped in five rebounds. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman tallied 13 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the loss.
Duncan Robinson scored 15 points off the bench for Michigan. D.J. Wilson, who starts over the sharpshooter, scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting in 11 minutes of action. Wilson fouled out with 3:03 remaining in the game.
"They played small ball," Irvin said. "They were really just isolating our five. Figured if D.J. could go in there, he's versatile, he can play multiple positions, and once he fouled out, it was tough from there on."