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PROVO, Utah (hokiesports.com) – Seth Allen scored 22 points for Virginia Tech, but the Hokies couldn’t quite overcome Brigham Young University down the stretch, falling 80-77 to the Cougars in a second-round NIT game played at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah on Friday night.
The loss put an end to the Hokies’ 2015-16 season. Tech finished with a record of 20-15. BYU is now 25-10 and will be the hosts of a third-round game versus the winner of Saturday’s Creighton-Wagner contest.
Tech had multiple chances down the stretch in an intense game that featured 14 lead changes. The Hokies trailed 77-75 with around a minute left, but a turnover and a missed shot by Allen on consecutive possessions left the Hokies in a situation where they needed to foul. BYU’s Chase Fischer hit one of two free throws with 18.9 seconds remaining to give the Cougars a 78-75 lead.
Tech called a timeout with 9.2 seconds to go, and BYU fouled the Hokies’ Kerry Blackshear, Jr., with 5.1 seconds left. Blackshear, however, missed both free throws.
The Hokies then fouled Fischer with 4.5 seconds remaining and Fischer made both free throws to give the Cougars an 80-75 advantage, ultimately sealing the game. Allen made a basket with a second left to account for the final margin.
Missed free throws proved costly for the Hokies, who made just 12 of 21 from the free-throw line. Tech also made just 5 of 23 from beyond the 3-point arc. In contrast, BYU hit 24 of 34 from the free-throw line and 8 of 17 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Allen made 8 of 14 from the floor for the Hokies, including a couple of 3-pointers in scoring in double figures for the ninth straight game and the 29th time this season.
Zach LeDay added 17 points and 14 rebounds, recording his 12th double-double on the season and scoring in double figures for the seventh straight game. LeDay scored in double figures 32 times in 35 games.
Blackshear had 13 for the Hokies – his first double-figure scoring performance since scoring 10 points in the Hokies’ 71-56 victory at Boston College on Feb. 23.
Fischer paced BYU with 24 points and he hit four 3-pointers. Kyle Collinsworth added 18 points.
The Hokies improved by nine wins from a season ago and return their entire roster with the exception of senior Shane Henry.