Blacksburg, VA – The Virginia Tech men’s hoops team improved to 6-4 this season with a 79-57 win over longwood this afternoon at Cassell Coliseum. Sophomore Jeff Allen dominated the game, notching a monster double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing a career-high 21 rebounds. Meanwhile, senior A.D. Vassallo led all scorers with 21 points, and was one rebound shy of a double-double of his own. Sophomore Terrell Bell scored a career high 12 points and was named player of the game.
Even though the 22-point victory — Tech’s first double-digit home win this season — looks impressive in the final box score, the Hokies were fortunate to win this game. Seth Greenberg’s team turned the ball over a season-high 23 times, including five times in the first 2-1/2 minutes of the second half. Luckily for the Hokies, the lancers were atrocious from the field, making only 20 of 67 attempts for a 29.9 percent average. The lancers missed 47 shots… the Hokies attempted 52.
Once again, Seth’s boys got off to a slow start, letting longwood hang around and build confidence en route to an 6-9 lead. The Hokies used a 12-3 run to take a six-point lead, which they stretched to 16 at the half, but it wasn’t easy. Tech struggled with longwood’s man defense which led to many of the Hokies’ 13 first-half turnovers.
The Hokies had a significant height advantage over longwood, yet they never really established dominance in the paint on offense. The size disparity did show up on the stat sheet as the good guys out-rebounded longwood 52-27. The 52 boards was a season-high for the Hokies.
The second half began with a 16-point Tech lead, but five turnovers in the first 2-1/2 minutes cut short any hope that the Hokies would be able to put this game away early in the half. Meanwhile, longwood used an 8-2 run to cut Tech’s lead to 10. The lancers would get that lead down to single digits, but only briefly. Trailing by 11, longwood’s e.j. dawson scored a bucket to cut the Hokie lead to nine, but on Tech’s ensuing possession, sophomore Terrell Bell got open along baseline, got the ball and went strong to the rim virtually uncontested for a two-handed flush that put Tech back up by eleven.
The visiting lancers, playing the Hokies for the first time ever, would manage to trim the lead back down to as little as five points, but a 16-0 run midway through the second half put the game out of reach. The lancers played a very aggressive and physical game, which ultimately led to two of their starters — Dana Smith and Antwan Carter — fouling out. Tech went to the free throw line 35 times, scoring 26 points.
When you shoot less than 30 percent, lose two starters to foul trouble, and send your opponent to the charity stripe 35 times, you are going to have a tough time winning games.
Bottom line: Tech won by 22, which is great, but they need to take better care of the ball because 23 turnovers againstÂ unc or duke ain’t gonna cut it.
Note: J.T. Thompson was supposed to make his season debut, but sat out due to a sprained foot.Â However, his hernia injury has been cleared and it is hopeful that he will return for the Holiday Festival Tournament next week at the ‘Most Famous Arena in the World’ in NYC.
Scoring Between Media Timeouts (overall score in parenthesis):
- 20:00-15:48: lu 9-8 (lu 9-8)
- 15:48-11:40: VT 2-0 (VT 10-9)
- 11:40-7:59: VT 8-5 (VT 18-14)
- 7:59-3:44: VT 8-5 (VT 26-19)
- 3:44-Halftime: VT 11-2 (VT 37-21)
- 20:00-15:00: lu 11-10 (VT 47-32)
- 15:00-11:39: lu 14-5 (VT 52-46)
- 11:39-7:51: 4-4 (VT 56-50)
- 7:51-3:12: VT 14-0 (VT 70-50)
- 3:12-End of Game: VT 9-7 (VT 79-57)
Niemo’s End of Game Nuggets:
- Jeff Allen went absolutely nuts this afternoon, scoring 19 points and grabbing a career high 21 rebounds.Â His previous rebound high was 17 against seton hall earlier this year.Â The only negative for him was his 6 turnovers, giving him 10 in his last two games.
- VT went on a 16-0 run from the 8:13 mark of the second half to the 2:44 mark to blow open a 56-50 lead.
- longwood had a STD (ShooTing Dysfunction) in the last 12 minutes of the second half, going 9 minutes without a field goal from the 11:44 mark to the 2:44 mark.
- Terrell Bell had a career high 12 points, surpassing his previous high of 9 against duke last season.Â He had just 17 points total coming into this game.
- Malcolm Delaney also reached double digits with 12 points, thanks to 8/8 from the free throw line.
- Dorenzo Hudson, who had just 3 steals on the season through 9 1/2 games, had 2 steals in the first minute of the second half.
- Tech had 5 turnovers in the first 2:31 of the second half after having a season high (for a half) 13 turnovers in the first half.Â They finished the game with a season high 23 turnovers.
- Jeff Allen did not pick up this first foul until the 14:27 mark of the second half after committing fouls in the first two minutes of each of VT’s last three games.
- Tech gave up as many points in the first 7:27 of the second half as they did in the entire first half (21 points).Â Â Tech only gave up 7 points in the final 8 minutes of the game.
- The Hokies were 0/3 on the front end of one-and-ones in the second half, wasting six potential points.
- Both Hudson and Cheick Diakite played sparingly today, seeing just 13 and 10 minutes respectively.Â Bell (16), Thorns (25), Davila (22), and Witcher (12)Â saw increased minutes.
- Paul Debnam, the heart and soul of the team, scored his first two points of the season in the final minute.
First Half — Niemo’s Nuggets:
[written at the end of the first half]
- Jeff Allen had a double-double… at the half!Â He had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Allen also had 4 turnovers in the first 11:06 of the game. (He had 4 TOs in the georgia game)
- This was Jeff’s 13th double-double of his career and third this season, but first on the mainlandÂ (the other two were in Puerto Rico).
- A.D. Vassallo also came close to a first half double-double with 10 points and 7 boards.Â He finished with a game high 21 points and 9 rebounds.
- Tech dominated the physical stats: they outrebounded longwood 29-13 in the half and had 15 free throws to just one for the lancers.Â For the game, VT had a 52-27 rebound advantage and a 35-13 free throw advantage.
- lu went 7:53 without a point during the first half, but VT was only able to score 8 points during that stretch.
- Antwan Carter, lu’s only true starting low post player, had 2 fouls in the first 3 1/2 minutes.Â He fouled out with just under 9 minutes left in the game.
- Malcolm Delaney, who has struggled in the first half of many games this season, did not score from the field (0/3) but had six points from the free throw line, his bread-and-butter.
- longwood was limp from the field in the first half, shooting just 23.5% (8/34).Â They were 4/14 on threes.
Starters: (The usual suspects)
- Cheick Diakite
- Jeff Allen
- A.D. Vassallo
- Dorenzo Hudson
- Malcolm Delaney