Despite near catastrophic foul trouble midway through the second half, the Virginia Tech Hokies held off and defeated the defending National Champion tar heels 74-70 to remain undefeated at The Cassell this season. Junior guard Malcolm Delaney, the ACC’s leading scorer, paced the Hokies with 21 points. Dorenzo Hudson (Jr.) scored 17 points and Jeff Allen (Jr.) added 14 points. Terrell Bell had a solid game and recorded a career-high 11 rebounds.
Tech got off to a hot start thanks to Hudson, who scored 10 of the Hokies’ first 14 points. The Hokies dominated the heels in the first eight minutes, leading 20-10 at the under-12 media timeout. Tech led by as many as 12, but the heels came roaring back and the Hokies went cold from the field, allowing unc to get its first lead of the game at the 5:32 mark with an Ed Davis free throw.
The Hokies would retake the lead, but Larry Drew II hit a short jumper in the paint as time ran out in the first half, giving the heels a 35-33 halftime lead.
The second half was frustrating for Tech head coach Seth Greenberg as five of his key players all had four fouls late in the game. Malcolm Delaney picked up his fourth foul with 12 minutes to play in the game. Starters Allen, Bell and Davila also had four fouls, as did JT Thompson.
After picking up his fourth personal, Delaney sat on the bench for five minutes. When he left the game, the Hokies had a seven-point lead, and when he checked back in, it was still at four points. Give credit to freshman Erick Green for playing a pretty solid game at the point. While he struggled with his shot — he was 0/5 and 0/3 from three-point range — he played 21 minutes and did an admirable job when the Hokies needed him, tallying 3 assists and 1 turnover.
The atmosphere at the Cassell was incredible and it was clear that the Tech players fed off that energy. Tech is 11-0 at home this season. Meanwhile, the tar heels have lost six of their last eight games. The Hokies improve to 4-3 in ACC play and 17-4 overall. No. 10 dook, which leads the ACC, is 5-3 in conference and 17-4 overall. So, Tech isn’t that far removed from the top of the conference. The Hokies have a quick turnaround to face clemson at 4 PM on Saturday in The Cassell.