ROANOKE, VA., JAN. 27 -- Virginia Tech Coach Frankie Allen doesn't want his freewheeling pair of guards, Bimbo Coles and Wally Lancaster, to have any semblance of a conscience. And if there was any question about it, the duo proved tonight against Virginia they truly don't.
For most of an intense matchup before 10,056 at the Roanoke Civic Center, the Hokies were dying on the combined 11-for-34 shooting of Lancaster and Coles. But the pair, averaging nearly half of Virginia Tech's 89.9 points per game coming in, came alive late for the Hokies' final eight points, including a pair of foul shots by Coles with two seconds remaining for a 66-64 win.
"Shooters shoot," said Lancaster, who scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half. "We know we're the scorers on the team and we're probably not going to win if we don't score."
After Bill Batts' layup was goaltended by Virginia Tech center Roy Brow to tie the game with seven seconds to go, Coles (16 points) took Greg Brink's inbounds pass and drove the length of the floor against Virginia's John Crotty. Coles seemed to have put himself in a bad position, with nowhere to go on the base line. But Crotty reached in from behind, seemingly before Coles put up a wild shot that rattled around behind the backboard. The Cavaliers, with just five team fouls in the second half, had a foul to give and were trying to use it.
"We had two guys guarding Coles and we were trying to take a foul," Virginia Coach Terry Holland said. "I felt like we got the foul before the shot, but Coles did the smart thing and put it up when he felt the pressure."
Coles and Crotty agreed referee Nolan Fine's decision could have gone either way. "It's a judgement call," Coles said with a grin that suggested he had gotten away with one. "That's about as close as you can get."
The Hokies (13-5) overcame Coles' four for 15 on driving jumpers, Lancaster's seven for 19 from long range, a strong 23-point performance by Virginia's Mel Kennedy and the Cavaliers' 11-point first-half lead.
The two teams spent most of the early going proving why they are the worst shooting clubs in their respective conferences. The Hokies shot 30 percent from the field the first half, Virginia 43.