That was when Green took control, scoring 14 of the Hokies’ next 18 points. He capped the comeback with two free throws late in regulation.
Green, the NCAA scoring leader, scored 28 points and Virginia Tech rallied for a 70-65 overtime victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday for its first Atlantic Coast Conference win.
“I think we were just tired of losing,” said Green, who averages 24.6 points per game.
The Hokies recovered after trailing 43-32.
“We just wanted it so we didn’t give up,” Green said. “We knew this game was winnable.”
Virginia Tech (10-6, 1-2 ACC) took its first ACC win under first-year coach James Johnson.
“Winning is hard, winning in the ACC is hard and winning on the road in the ACC is certainly hard,” Johnson said. “This was a great win for this team.”
Green had only 8 points in the first half. Johnson said he didn’t have to give his senior leader any kind of sign to pick up the scoring.
“I don’t tell him to take over and be aggressive,” Johnson said. “He’s got a feel for the game. He knows what the team needs.
“He did a great job stepping up when we were down 11. He turned it on and we got stops. He got some other guys to contribute, too.”
Unable to stop Green, Georgia Tech (10-5, 0-3) remained winless in the league with its third straight loss.
“Although they were struggling to score some, they have a pretty good ace in the hole in Erick Green,” said Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory. “For about a 7-minute stretch there, he had it going pretty well.”
The Yellow Jackets were held without a field goal in the final 7 minutes of regulation.
Freshman Robert Carter Jr. led Georgia Tech with 12 points despite making only 2 of 12 shots from the field. Mfon Udofia and Marcus Georges-Hunt, another freshman, each had 11. Daniel Miller had 6 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Virginia Tech forward C.J. Barksdale had 11 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
With 4:06 remaining in regulation, Virginia Tech’s Jarell Eddie was called for a flagrant foul on Georges-Hunt, whose basket on the play was disallowed. Georges-Hunt made only one free throw, and Georgia Tech could not score when it kept possession following the free throws.
“A layup, flagrant foul and the ball back and you only had one point, so it’s a critical play,” Gregory said.
Cadarian Raines scored on a follow shot with 1:01 remaining in regulation to trim Georgia Tech’s lead to 55-53. Following a missed jumper by Carter, Green made two free throws with 23.9 seconds remaining for the first tie of the second half.
Georgia Tech called a timeout with 20.6 seconds left. Udofia worked the clock before missing a jumper. Virginia Tech grabbed the rebound and called timeout with 3 seconds remaining.
Green missed a long 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.
Virginia Tech scored the first three baskets of overtime as the Yellow Jackets’ cold shooting continued. Barksdale opened the bonus 5-minute period with a basket, followed by a 3-pointer by Jarell Eddie and a jumper from Green for a 62-55 lead.
Udofia ended Georgia Tech’s field-goal drought with a basket. Chris Bolden and Udofia had late 3-pointers, but Robert Brown had two baskets to protect Virginia Tech’s lead.
“You have an opportunity to win a game in this league, you’ve got to take advantage of it and we didn’t do that today,” Gregory said.
Brown had 10 points.
Brown started for Virginia Tech after missing one game with an illness.
“I didn’t know what to expect from him,” Johnson said. “He missed two days of practice but was at the shoot-around last night. ... He was big for us. Having him back was really great.”
Going back to last season, Green has scored in double figures in 19 straight games, the ACC’s longest active streak. He has scored 21 or more points in 15 of 16 games this season.
Carter banked in a 3-pointer with 4 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Yellow Jackets a 25-22 halftime lead.
Georgia Tech opened the second half with an 18-10 run to stretch the lead to 11 points.