Virginia Tech blitzed the maryland terrapins in the opening minutes of Thursday night’s game in College Park to the tune of a 12-0 lead and never looked back, en route to a 74-57 win. It is the worst loss by maryland since they opened play in the Comcast Center in 2002.
The Hokies seemed as though they were trying to give it away in the second half, shades of the unc game in which Tech blew a 16-point lead. The terps cut the lead to single digits, but the Hokies were not to be denied this time.
With the win over the terrapins, the Hokies improved to 3-2 in ACC play and 12-5 overall, while maryland fell to a disappointing 1-3 in conference play and 11-7 overall.
Starting point guard Erick Green led the Hokies with a career-high 24 points on 12/16 shooting. The sophomore had an electrifying first half with 14 points on 7/10 shooting, powering the Hokies to a 40-29 halftime lead. Green also had four, count ‘em, FOUR steals and two assists, all in the first half.
Senior Malcolm Delaney played a whale of a game, too, with 19 points and seven assists. He was only 5/11 from the field, but hit 7/8 at the free throw line. Most impressive were his incredible passes to Victor Davila and Green down the stretch to put maryland away.
Tech’s man-to-man defense stymied maryland’s leading scorer, Jordan Williams, the entire game, holding him to just 11 points, well below his season average of 18.1.
With the terps keying on Delaney, Green made the most of his opportunities as it was clear the terps didn’t consider him a legit scoring threat. And the Hokies needed a big game from someone because Jeff Allen struggled with foul trouble the entire game.
The senior forward sat much of the first half with two fouls and needed only a couple of minutes to pick up his third in the second half. Allen finished with only seven points and committed four turnovers, but still managed 11 rebounds.
Davila scored 13 points, Manny Atkins had six off the bench and Terrell Bell had two points, seven rebounds, two assists and a block. His defense contribution doesn’t show up in the box score.
The terps’ cliff tucker single-handedly kept maryland in the game in the second half, scoring 11 straight maryland points, including a trio of three-pointers and a two-pointer to cut Tech’s lead to eight, but his team-high 13 points weren’t enough as Delaney and his laser-guided passes helped slam the door shut on the home team.
Tech returns to the Cassell Coliseum Saturday night for a home game against the Longwood Lancers. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
- Delaney clearly reads TechHoops.com. If he didn’t, he’d have made one more basket. [sarcasm] VT is now 11-1 when he scores 20 or less, and 1-4 when he scores 21+ (he had 19 tonight).
- Cousy Winner: Through the first 8 games (VT 4-4), Delaney had 26 assists and 42 turnovers. In the 8 since, he’s totaled 51 assists and 19 turnovers.
- THE WINCHESTER RIFLE: Erick Green is averaging 14 ppg, 3 asp, and 3 steals per game since entering the starting lineup 9 games ago. BTW: he has 9 total turnovers in those 9 games.
- Delaney finished 2-1 at the communist center (not bad – they talked a lot of smack – even down 17 – trust me)
- I would rather be VT than md (take that any way you want)
- Jordan Williams extended his double-double streak to 12 straight games with 11 points and 11 rebounds, though he was a non-factor. Kinda like how Kevin Love extended his double-double streak against Blake Griffin and the Clippers on Wednesday night despite the fact the T’wolves lost by double digits to the Clippers.
- How smart am I? I said VT had to win the 3-point battle… they didn’t – maryland made 6 to VT’s 5 (though VT shot a slightly better percentage). I said the Hokies had to win from the FT line… they didn’t – maryland made 2 more and shot a better percentage. I said VT had to shut down maryland’s supporting cast because Jordan Williams was gonna get his… nope, Tech completely took Williams out of the game. Both teams were just about even in turnovers as expected (VT 15, md 16). VT did a good job on the boards (VT – 8 offensive rebounds to 9 for md though VT had many fewer opportunities). This game simply came down to Tech made more shots than maryland (30/56 to 20/56). maryland couldn’t exploit the man defense Tech opened the game with, and isn’t a good enough shooting team to beat the 2-3 zone the rest of the game, while Tech hit their jumpers and got easy layups. Also, maryland’s press only caused 1 or 2 turnovers by my count.
- VT is the 2nd best team in the ACC (more to come on that once I can type – darn you 4 Lokos!)