Malcolm Delaney’s 28 points, including seven three-pointers, was not enough for the Hokies on the road against ACC rival unc. Especially when Jeff Allen follows a career game with four points and seven rebounds against the heels. Despite a 16-point first-half lead, Tech loses 61-64 to unc.
Erick Green was playing well, but suffered a cramp that took him out of the game. Add to that the Hokies were on the road in Chapel Hill against a healthy unc team with 10 scholarship players and it’s amazing they were even in the game in the final seconds.
It is with great sadness we must report that the six-game winning streak is over. It was a good run, folks. A damn good run…
What can you say about this game other than, “We totally saw that coming.” Look, we’re not naysayers or Debbie Downers, we’ve just been covering the Hokies for a long long time. This is the same script that has played out dozens of times. Stop us if this sounds familiar…
The Hokies are on the road against a more prestigious conference rival, which has more All-Americans on its roster this season than Tech’s had in its entire history. The Hokies explode out of the gate and can’t miss or do anything wrong. Then, the wheels come off. The home team gets the majority of the calls, we get in foul trouble, we can’t hit a shot, we turn it over and we eventually give the lead away.
Sure, we keep it close enough to give us hope, but usually a terrible call by the pro-unc or pro-duke officials, or a stupid play by a veteran ensures a win for the other team.
Look, considering the Hokies had eight scholarship players, two of which are true freshmen, it’s amazing that they played as well as they did. The Hokies sprinted to a 16-point, first-half lead, 31-15, but didn’t score a point in the final 6 minutes and 23 seconds of the first half, allowing the tar heels to go on a 9-0 run to pull within seven at the break.
Jeff Allen was on the bench for most of the first half with a pair of fouls. Green suffered a severe cramp that sat him down for most of the second half. Delaney had three fouls and Terrell Bell had four down the stretch.
The second half was painful to watch. You just knew where the game was headed. And when unc finally took the lead and the 20,000 in the Dean Dome were screaming their damn bloody heads off, you knew there was no way the Hokies were going to win this game.
Mad props to Manny Atkins, who played well off the bench, hitting three of his four three-point attempts for nine points. The sophomore buried two huge treys in the second half to keep the Hokies in the game.
We could right a recap, but it would read just like so many we’ve written before. Hokies started hot. They took the lead. They went cold. They gave up aforementioned lead. They lost. End of story. Roll credits.
The good news is, the Hokies are back home Saturday night against a pretty weak wake forest team. The questions are: 1) Will the Hokies led unc beat them twice (now known as the boise state effect) and 2) will the Hokies have enough healthy players to put a team on the court?
We’ll be there live at the Cassell as the Hokies look to even their ACC record. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.
- Jarell Eddie showed some flashes in the first half. He had a nice jumper fading to the baseline, and scored 6 points in 12 minutes. This looked like the Eddie of the first few weeks of the season.
- Tyrone Garland played about as bad of a game as you could play. Everything he touched turned to turnover, and unfortunately because of Green’s injury, he had to play a lot a good bit (8 minutes). He looked like a freshman tonight with 3 turnovers and no points.
- unc won this game on the glass. Tech could not get a defensive rebound to save their life. Up 52-50 coming out of the under-4 timeout, Henson (a 34% foul shooter) bricked two foul shots as you knew he would. But unc grabbed the rebound, and Barnes hit a jumper to tie the game. Instead of up 2 with the ball and 3 minutes to go, the game was tied. Delaney quickly missed a jumper and Barnes drained a 3. Huge momentum swing. The heels grabbed 42% of their misses (18 offensive rebounds). Tech grabbed just 22% of their misses (8 offensive rebounds).
- Tech had 18 turnovers, their highest total since unlv and 5 more than they had in any of their last 8 games.
- VT had 13 steals — their third straight game with 10+.
- Tech’s 11 made three-pointers were a season high.
- The Hokies led from the 18:05 mark of the first half through the 9:35 mark of the second half. The final 9:30 minutes were nip and tuck.
- We need Dorenzo Hudson! This is the third time this season Delaney has taken a shot at the end of a game in a critical situation and he’s 0/3 (purdue – went to OT, st. bonnie – went to OT, unc – lost). He settles for tough, long jumpers with a man in his face off the dribble. Need to try something different like have him come off a screen without the ball or have him drive and and dish.
- The Hokies this year remind me of one of my buddies when he’s trying to seal the deal with a girl at the bar — he’s pretty good for most of the night and it looks like it’s gonna happen. Then he falters at the end, can’t close the deal, and goes home empty handed. As a result, he has no date for the dance.