The Virginia Tech Hokies knew they were in for a tough game today against the No. 12 seeded miami hurricanes, and they got one. The canes manhandled wake forest in the opening round on Thursday and were apparently still amped from the win as they upset the Hokies 70-65.
Jeff Allen led the Hokies offensively, scoring 18 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Dorenzo Hudson, who missed the Hokies’ regular season finale – a road win over gt – went off for 15 points in the first half, but managed only one point in the second half.
Seth Greenberg, who is now mentioned as a favorite for both the rutgers and st. john’s jobs, got great contributions from Terrell Bell, who hit 4/9 three pointers for 12 points. All nine of Bell’s attempts were from behind the line. JT Thompson also stepped up with 10 points. Lewis Witcher added a tip-in for two points.
Malcolm Delaney, the ACC’s leading scorer, played easily his worst game of the season, scoring a just seven points. It’s the first ACC contest in which he failed to reach double figures. Only twice this season has Delaney scored fewer points: against longwood when he left the game with a high ankle sprain less than a minute into the game and against nc central where he scored five points before being taken out.
Today, Delaney was 3/15 from the field and miserable 0/8 from three point range. He attempted only three free throws and made only one. As Delaney goes, so go the Hokies. That, and their lack of size and rebounding ability.
The Hokies got destroyed on the boards and got out-rebounded 29-46 by the canes and that was the deciding factor of the game, plain and simple. As if that weren’t enough, the Hokies shot just 38 percent to miami’s 46. Take away Delaney’s dismal day and the Hokies shot 43 percent.
Tech took a 65-64 lead with 2:02 to play in the game when Jeff Allen hit one of two free throws. The Hokies failed to score again as miami closed the game with a 6-0 run.
The Hokies, the No. 4 seed, were a little sluggish out of the game and trailed 4-2 after 2-1/2 minutes, but Hudson got the Hokies’ offense rolling with a three-pointer from the right wing. Hudson, back from missing Tech’s regular season finale with a foot injury, scored eight straight points and 13 of Tech’s next 20 points to push the Hokies’ lead to 22-12 at the under 12 media timeout.
miami crawled back into the game with clutch shooting while the Hokies went cold (sound familiar) and eventually took two brief leads (33-32 and 35-33) in the final 2:13 of the half. But Jeff Allen scored the final four points of the first half to put Tech ahead 37-35 at the break.
The Hokies will now have to sit and wait for Sunday to see where they will be seeded in the NCAA tournament. This loss definitely hurt and they’ll like be seeded anywhere from 9-12.