OXFORD, Miss. -- Chris Clarke scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds off the bench on Saturday as Virginia Tech rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half to defeat Mississippi 83-80 in overtime.
Virginia Tech (7-1) placed five players in double figures, led by Kerry Blackshear Jr. with 17 points. Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Justin Robinson had 13 points apiece, while Justin Bibbs added 11. The Hokies have won five consecutive games.
"The most satisfying thing is we play a lot of young players and there were five or six times when we could have faded away," Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. "We didn't. The free throws were really important, too."
P.J. Horne hit the go-ahead basket, 79-77, with 2:37 left in overtime and the Hokies sealed it with a pair of free throws from Robinson and Alexander-Walker. Virginia Tech was 26 of 37 (71 percent) from the free throw line, including a 13-of-15 effort that spanned the second half and most of overtime.
"They made more free throws than we attempted. They really took it to us to get to the free throw line," Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. "At the end of the day, you've got to make plays at the finish and we just didn't do that."
Terence Davis and Breein Tyree scored 17 points apiece for the Rebels (4-3), who led 47-31 with 18:01 remaining and 39-29 at halftime. Markel Crawford and Deandre Burnett added 13 and 11 points, respectively, as Ole Miss dropped its third game in the last four starts.
Virginia Tech finished 25 of 57 (44 percent) from the floor, including 7 of 22 (32 percent) from 3-point range. Ole Miss was 29 of 73 (40 percent) and 9 of 31 (29 percent) from 3-point range. The Rebels were 13 of 24 (54 percent) from the free throw line.
After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.
Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.
Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing. At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.
Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.
Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.
Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.
Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.
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The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.
On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.
From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.
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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).
NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.
Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson
Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.
It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.
On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.