BLACKSBURG, Va. — Erick Green said the blame was his to shoulder.
With the ball in his hands and Virginia Tech trailing No. 25 Virginia 61-59 and the final seconds ticking off the clock, he was supposed to try to win the game for the Hokies.
Instead, he passed, and when Dorian Finney-Smith passed, too, Malcolm Brogdon knocked the pass away, grabbed the ball and Virginia escaped Cassell Coliseum with a two-point victory.
"The play was designed for me to try to make a play and try to win the game, so I kind of take the blame," Green said after scoring 19 points. "I should have had the ball in my hands."
Finney-Smith said he was trying to get the ball to Dorenzo Hudson, whose off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer of overtime had given the Hokies a victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday.
"I thought I saw Dorenzo, but the man made a good defensive play," he said.
And the Hokies (15-13, 4-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost another tough one. Six of their nine league losses have come by four points or fewer. The four wins? By a total of six points.
And the worst part, Green said: "I could have went home and lived with it if we had gotten a shot off, but I can't live the way it kind of ended, not getting a shot off. That's rough."
And it doesn't get easier. The Hokies play at Duke on Saturday.
Mike Scott scored 20 points and Sammy Zeglinski had 13, all in the second half, for Virginia (21-6, 8-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), which held an opponent scoreless for more than eight minutes to rally for the second game in a row.
The Cavaliers did it to Maryland for 8:18 on Saturday, and to the Hokies for 8:25 — starting after Green's floater dropped at the 13-minute mark.
When Robert Brown finally broke the drought for the Hokies with two free throws with 4:35 left, the Cavaliers had built a 56-51 lead. The field goal drought stretched more than 12 minutes, ending finally when Green scored on a drive and was fouled with 38 seconds to play.
As the Hokies went cold, Virginia got hot behind Zeglinski. With the crowd jeering his every move, he scored seven points in a 14-0 burst, including a 3-pointer and a steal and a layup.
But the Hokies, who won 47-45 on Jan. 22 at Virginia, weren't finished.
Green made three of four free throws and Hudson one of two to pull the Hokies within 59-55, and they also fouled out Zeglinski and Virginia defensive specialist Jontel Evans.
Paul Jesperson, inserted into the lineup when Zeglinski fouled out, then collected a rebound and put it in for the Cavaliers, giving them a 61-55 lead with 43 seconds to play.
Green was fouled while scoring and made the free throw to make it a three-point game with 38 seconds to go. Virginia's Akil Mitchell missed the front end of a one-and-one two seconds later.
Green's floater came up short, and he made only one of two free throws with 26 seconds to go, but the Hokies again fouled Mitchell, and he again missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Cadarian Raines gathered in the rebound in a pile, and the Hokies called a timeout.
With 17.6 seconds left, they were working the ball around for a good shot when Brogdon made his steal. He missed the free throw, but Hudson's desperate heave never had a chance.
Evans also scored 13 for Virginia.
Hudson had nine for the Hokies.
Early, both teams shot well.Comment on this story
The Hokies used a 16-6 run that featured four 3-pointers to open a 29-21 lead. Marquis Rankin hit twice from long range and Dorian Finney-Smith and Hudson also connected. The Hokies made six of their first eight from behind the arc, matching their season average for 3-pointers.
Virginia shot 68.4 percent in the half, led by Scott's 7 for 10, and trailed 35-32 at halftime. The Cavaliers made only two 3-pointers, the second by Scott, who had 15 at the half.
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