The Hokies won a game they absolutely had to win, and in convincing fashion. Virginia Tech, after a 7-0 wake run to start the game from the demon deacons, absolutely dominated the game. I thought VT -19.5 was a high spread. Well, VT covered by then and then some. The Hokies cruised to a 94-65 win. This was Tech’s biggest margin of victory ever in an ACC game (the previous high was a 27-point win over uva in 2007).
For once VT had balance, even in the first half. The Hokies had six guys finish in double-digits, and none of them were Malcolm Delaney. Tech got a huge effort from their bench. Manny Atkins led the Hokies with a career high 16 (he was deadly from the right corner behind the arc), and freshman Jarell Eddie had 8 in the first half and finished with a career high 12 points. Eddie and Atkins have put together two very good games back-to-back, which is crucial given VT’s lack of depth. Erick Green and Jeff Allen had 10, Victor Davila had 14 (mostly off dunks — see picture), and Terrell Bell had 12.
Somewhat surprisingly, it was wake that opened up in a 2-3 zone while VT played man-to-man. Tech had played nothing but zone against fsu and unc, but those teams had more bulk inside. I assume Seth opened in man because of wake’s ability to penetrate. The Hokies did play a lot of zone though, also.
Seriously, when I saw the spread was -19.5, I thought wake would cover. When they jumped out to a 7-0 lead, I thought we might lose. But that 17-2 run to put the Hokies up 17-9. Later in the first half with the score 24-16 in favor of Tech, the Hokies went on an 11-0 run to burst ahead 35-16 and the game was all but over. I thought back at that point to when Tech was up 18 in the first half I thought back to Thursday when the Hokies were up 31-15 over unc, yet you knew this was different. This is a terrible wake team that wasn’t going to put up a fight and were ready to head back to Winston-Salem for some Four Lokos. VT was up 44-24 at the half thanks in large part to 7/14 shooting on 3-pointers. After hitting just one three-pointer against florida state, Tech has answered with 19/40 from long range in their last two games.
wake has an awful defense. VT shot 59 percent for the game, over 50 percent in both halves. Tech also finished 18/21 from the line (86 percent). This is a good VT team. They took a wake team behind the woodshed that deserved it.
wake, which is turnover prone, lost the points off turnover battle 26-11. They also lost points in the paint 44-20 to a VT team that has no inside depth. Like I said, wake might be the worst ACC team ever.
Great stat line from Delaney: Nine points and nine assists. One turnover. That’s a great game. He’s showing he can contribute without having to score 30 points. The nine assists moved Delaney to third on Tech’s all-time assists list with 476, just ahead of Al Young – VT All-Time Leaders List
VT had 22 fast break points to four for wake. The Hokies did an excellent job of pushing the ball and actually converted fast break opportunities for once!
It was Ace Custis Night, but Ace was unable to attend. Instead, we got a pre-taped video message from him in Japan (he plays for the Panasonic Trions). So, no arm curl opportunity. In case you missed our interview with Tech’s 10th highest scorer, 3rd highest rebounder, and 7th greatest thief (steals) back in April, here are the links:
- As I thought, VT answered the tough loss Thursday with some anger in their blood and took it out on wake.
- VT is 6-1 all time in “short turnaround games” — once per year each ACC team plays a game less than 48 hours after their last ACC game.
- Eddie had this second good game in a row – 3/4 from the field. 5 rebounds. 12 points.
- Atkins is money from 3-point range (see below).
- Tech is 10-1 this year when Delaney scores 20 points or less. They are 1-4 when he scores 21+.
- The Hokies are 7-2 against wake since joining the ACC and now lead the all-time series 27-26.
- VT loves playing teams from the North Carolina Triad this year — having scored 94 against wake and 92 versus unc-greensboro, their second and third highest scoring outputs of the season respectively.
- wake is now 0-3 in the ACC with their losses by a combined 69 points (-23 per). If they aren’t the worst ACC team ever, they are in the neighborhood.
- Former Tech walk-on football player Prince Parker scored his first points as a Hokie with a layup in garbage time
- Atkins is 5/7 from three-point range in his last two games
- Paul Debnam scored four points, much to the crowd’s delight
Next up for the Hokies are the maryland terrapins on Thursday at College Park. maryland nearly knocked off #7 villanova on Saturday. The terps led by 12 with less than 10 minutes to go in the second half, but a 19-0 run by the ‘cats launched them firmly into control and gave them a villanova win.