Categorized | 2008-09 Season, Game Recaps, Games

Recap | #2 unc (26-3, 12-3) 86, VT (17-12, 7-8) 78

Boxscore

Once again the Hokies were within reach of getting their NCAA Tournament ticket punched, only to have the ticket-taker drift away into the night and leave Tech empty handed.  VT now faces a must-win situation on Sunday at florida state.

The Hokies played uphill all game, trailing most of the contest — VT never led.  But VT cut the heel lead to one with 5:17 to play.  After that, unc went on a 10-0 run to go ahead 73-62 with 2:59 to play and the Hokies never got closer than five after that.  Remind anyone of the duke game and the final five minutes in that contest?

A.D. Vassallo, aka: Mr. 2nd-Half, had another stellar night in his final regular season game at Cassell.  A.D. scored 25 points, including 19 in the second half, and moved ahead of Ace Custis into 8th place on the VT all-time scoring list.  Jeff Allen had his sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but 14 of his points were in the first half.  He was the Hokie offense in the first stanza.  Malcolm Delaney added 19 points, but many of them were free throws in garbage time.  He was just 4/16 from the field including 1/7 on threes.  He is 6/28 in his last two games and just 1/13 from long range. 

The heels dominated the Hokies inside on offense.  They were able to score at will in the low post.  Tyler Hansbrough had 22 points while Deon Thompson and Ed Davis added eight each.  On the perimeter, Ty Lawson seemingly could score whenever he wanted to.  He was just too quick for any Hokie to guard.  Lawson poured in 22 points.  Wayne Ellington added 15, hit three big three-pointers in the first half.  He shot over the Hokies when he wanted to, especially Hank Thorns.

For the game, Tech held unc to just 41% shooting from the field and 32% on threes, but gave up 14 offensive rebounds. VT lost the turnover battle by three (11-8).  unc converted more of Tech’s turnovers into points, outscoring VT 15-4 on fast breaks and 18-8 on points off turnovers.  Tech just could not cash in on a couple of 3-on-1s, and missed two easy layups in the game (stop me if you’ve heard that before).

It was deja vu all over again for the Hokies in this contest.  For the fourth straight game Tech started slow and stared a significant deficit in the face by the first media timeout.  As has become the norm, the Hokies started slow from the field and trailed 12-6 at the first media timeout.  This was the fourth straight game the Hokies trailed by six or more at the first TV timeout and 13th time in 15 ACC games Tech has been behind at the first break.

The Hokies did battle back and got to within one in the first half.  But a Tyler Hansbrough three at the end of the half pushed the unc lead to six at the break.

Tech finished their home slate a disappointing 4-4 in ACC play.  The Hokies did play a very difficult home schedule, but Tech went just 1-4 against teams currently above .500 in ACC play.  They went 3-0 against the bottom three teams in the league.  bc is the only team above .500 that VT beat at home, and they sit at just 8-7 in the league right now and were 1-2 in ACC play when the Hokies defeated them.  If you want to make the Big Dance and want to compete for a bye in this league, you have to beat the teams in the upper half of the league at home on occasion.  The Hokies were unable to get that done this season.

Tech finishes the regular season on Sunday at 2 PM at florida state.  VT lost the first meeting, less than two weeks ago, 67-65 at the Cassell.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1217 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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  • goodraisin

    I saw in the Hokie Hotline Notes from Monday night that Delaney is really banged up right now. I hope that is what is contributing to his poor shooting because that kid is in an awful slump. We can’t beat FSU on the road with Delaney slumping. We also need smarter play from Hank Thorns, who decided to drive the ball againt UNC several times, then got caught in the air and had to force up a bad shot. He just needs to realize that nobody is going to move when he drives the ball, so he’d either have a place to dish it or else use a jump-stop early in his drive so the shot won’t get blocked. If I had to pick a team in the league who I think is the most even matchup for the Hokies, it’d be FSU, so hopefully our desire to get into the NCAA tournament will be the deciding factor in this game.

  • formercoach

    formercoach says:

    It was so frustrating watching the game last night. No doubt Coach Greenberg is a quality coach. He has consistently put his team in position to win games. The Virginia Tech Basketball program was supposed to be at or near the bottom of the conference based on all the pundits after we joined the ACC, with that said;
    Coach greenberg has to change his approach. He needs to establish his identity and stick with it. He changes his game plan way too often. As I pointed out before he is only losing games by small margins. Fundamentals and teamwork is beating him not one or two people in the lineup. The other thing, I know this is a taboo subject but, Malcolm Delaney is a selfish Basketball Player. He is about getting his numbers and not winning. At the end of the game we are down by 10 we need three point baskets he is trying to get layups to pad his stats. He was awful from the field tonight. He was 4 of 16 from the field, 1 of 7 from the three. Yes some would argue he had 19 points but if you saw the game he was not a factor. And by the way Wayne Ellington shut him down and he can’t guard anybody. He also had 17 in the first half on him. A.D caught fire and he dribbled the ball away from him. Not once have I seen Greenberg react to his antics. If Malcolm is your leader and you don’t coach him you are going to have problems. The other thing Coach Greenbergs post-game comments were “Thorns got winded because he had not practiced that is why he turned the ball over”. He played way too many minutes. He was guarding a pro in Tywon Lawson. My last point those two guys (Vassallo, Delaney) can’t play that many minutes and you win close games down the stretch. Hudson was 2 for 2, see what he can give you. He didn’t even play Terrell Bell. He is a good defender you saw what he did against Henderson. I just don’t get Coach Greenberg. I personally couldn’t play under those conditions. 1 week I get 20 minutes the next I might not play.

  • Niemo

    On Malcolm, I do thing formercoach is being overly tough on him. He was 1/13 on threes his last two games, so a 7% shot isn’t a good option. And I re-watched the end of the duke game and he was clearly looking for Vassallo at the end of that contest when VT was down five on the last couple of possessions. I think against unc he just took what was given him, and what was the best option.

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