The Hokies won their first ever ACC Tournament game tonight in Tampa against the 11th seeded demon deacons of wake forest. Tech led for the majority of the game after getting off to a hot start. At the first TV timeout, the Hokies led 13-6. When Tech leads at the first TV timeout, they are 6-0. This game was no exception.
wake did mount a 24-13 run after the Hokies’ led 18-8 behind a strong inside game. wake took their second, and last, lead of the game at 32-31 when Ishmael Smith canned a three pointer. The Hokies punched right back, when my player of the game, A.D. Vassallo nailed one behind the arc. Vassallo led all scorers tonight with 22 points, which included 4 three balls.
The score was 36-34 at the half, and what followed was a near perfect half of basketball. Tech had 0 turnovers in the second half, and only two the entire game. Couple that with a tenacious effort on defense, and Tech turned many steals into easy buckets. The Hokies held wake to 18 points in the second half.
It was nice to see Deron add to his highlight reel this evening with two monster dunks, including one where he lifted off from the second C (in ACC) just inside the foul line. Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell did a fantastic job tonight in transition and keeping the game up tempo, especially in the second half, which wake could not match.
The only negative sign from tonight’s game was Tech’s free throw shooting. The Hokies were 9 of 17 from the line tonight. That must improve if Tech wants to stick around through the weekend.
Next up is n.c. state, the only team in the conference that has owned the Hokies this year. Tonight the Pack shot lights out in the second half against the hoos, eerily similar to their 81-56 thrashing of the Hokies in Raleigh back on February 18th. After two emotional wins, lets hope n.c. state is as tired as most fans who stayed up to watch the double OT thrilla between wake and gt the night before. Speaking of which … off to bed.
[Wick Addition: Since I still haven’t gone to bed yet, let me also share with you the line on Jamon Gordon tonight: 10 points, 7 steals, 7 boards, 5 assists, and 2 blocks.]