Jeff Allen recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the Hokies hold off visiting miami for a 72-68 win. Erick Green scored 15 points and had six assists. The sophomore guard from Winchester, Va., has scored at least 10 points in 11 of the 12 games he’s started. He scored nine in a road loss to georgia tech.
VT led the entire final 31 minutes of the game, including by 10 at halftime. But the Hokies barely survived at the end. The canes had the ball down two with under a minute to go but Adrian Thomas, a 39% 3-point shooter, missed two wide-open 3-point shots that would have given the canes the lead. After Malcolm Delaney hit one of two to put VT up three, Garrius Adams missed a 3-pointer to tie the game with 3 seconds to go. Terrell Bell grabbed the board, got fouled, and VT had a huge win.
After sitting out the georgia tech game for academic issues, freshmen Tyrone Garland and Eddie Jarrell played crucial relief minutes for the starters. Garland hit two huge first-half three-pointers to keep the canes in the rear-view mirror. The Hokies are now 10-10 all-time versus the canes, 9-4 in ACC play and 4-1 at the Cassell.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair until the final five minutes. The canes cut the Hokies lead to one point, 27-26, but Tech closed the first half on a 13-4 run to take a 40-30 lead into the half. Malcolm Delaney played a solid game and led the Hokies with 10 points at the break. Allen and Green each scored eight. The Hokies were red hot from the floor in the first half, hitting 58% of their shots and 6/10 from behind the arc (after hitting just 1/11 threes against georgia tech).
The Hokies struggled in the second half with poor shooting — 9/21 from the field and 2/7 from three — and couldn’t seem to defend the three-point shot from miami, which hit five second-half treys to cut into the Hokies’ 10-point half-time lead. Sure, the canes can hit the deep ball, but despite having behemoths in the middle, the Hokies “bigs” did a tremendous job of nullifying miami’s big boys.
Tech’s post players include Allen (6-7, 230) and Davila (6-8, 245). Those two essentially shut down the canes’ No. 42 Reggie Johnson (6-10, 303) and No. 45 Julian Gamble (6-9, 258). Allen and Davila combined for 27 points while Johnson and Gamble combined for 10 points.
The Hokies were out-rebounded 30-25, but Allen (11) and Davila (3) held their own against that of Johnson (10) and Gamble (5), 14-15. Tech’s bench scored 10 points (Garland 6, Manny Atkins 3, Eddie 1). Speaking of Atkins, he continues to be clutch from behind the arc. He finished January 10 of 18 from the three-point line.
Tech is back on the road for the next two games, the first of which is Wednesday night in Raleigh against n.c. state. Tip-off is at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on the Deuce (ESPN2).
- This win was critical for the Hokies. There is a log jam in the middle of the ACC. After duke (6-1), unc (5-1), and fsu (5-2), there are four teams tied at 4-3 in the league for that fourth and final ACC Tourney first round bye (VT, md, bc, and clemson). Considering what a crap-shoot the Tournament should be, you want to avoid any game you can.
- The Hokies moved back over .500 in all-time in ACC regular season games. They are 52-51 since joining the league.
- The Hokies clinched a winning home record this year, moving to 8-2 with four to go. VT has only had one losing season in 50 years at the Cassell (thank you, ricky stokes — 2000/01).
- Random stat thanks to some CSN intern: Tech is now 15-3 in home games on 1/30/11.
- As Cope mentioned, Garland hit two big 3-pointers. What he left out (being the nice guy he is) is that Tyrone BANKED in both 3-pointers. Every announcers favorite cliche – “The bank is open on Sunday… twice!” The canes also banked in a three.
- The canes came in shooting 39% from deep, second best in the ACC, but went just 8/27 from deep (30%). Adrian Thomas was just 1/7 and missed those critical 3s at the end. VT was much more efficient at 8/17 from deep. Nice way to rebound from a 1/11 game from 3-point range.
- miami has lost their last four ACC games by a combined 11 points (pretty easy to pick miami to cover their +9-point spread tonight).
- Tech has three players shooting over 40% on three-pointers – Garland (45%), Atkins (45%), and Delaney (41%). It was nice to see Malcolm knock down three 3s, including a clutch one late to put VT up five.
- Tech did play a lot of man defense tonight due to the canes dangerous 3-point shooters.
- The Hokies kept the canes in the game in the second half with terrible foul shooting – Tech was just 12/21 from the line. The Hokies were in the bonus early in the second half but couldn’t take advantage of their charity trips. Davila was an atrocious 3/9 from the line. Even Delaney missed a critical free throw with 16 seconds left that would have put Tech up four and iced the game.
- Erick Green broke a streak of 14 consecutive missed shots by nailing a 3-pointer in the first half. He had also missed 10 consecutive 3-pointers, dating back to the unc game, at that point. He shot a respectable 5/12 from the field, but his mid-range jumper was off for the second game in a row. That had been his break-and-butter the last few weeks.
- Green went 4/4 from the line tonight and has now made 15 in a row and 28 of his last 29 free throws!
- Green had 6 assists to just 1 turnover, though it was a terrible turnover – he got called for a 10 second violation in the back court with no one around and him walking the ball up. Tech was just up four and it was late.
- Delaney had just 1 turnover after his 8 turnover game versus the jackets. The Hokies had just 8 turnovers for the game, their lowest total of the season.
- Jeff Allen was the only Hokie to record an offensive rebound. He had three and Tech also picked up three team offensive rebounds. miami had 10 offensive rebounds in 29 opportunities (34% to just 23% for VT). Tech has to do a better job on the glass, though missed 3-pointers do create long rebounds.
- Victor Davila did a great job on Reggie Johnson. Here’s-the-beef had been averaging 12 points coming in, but VT held him to half that thanks largely to Victor battling inside. His interior defense has improved immensely this year.
- If you had told me VT would shoot 51% from the field, 8/17 from behind the arc, and have just 8 turnovers I’d have said this would be a Bear Fight win. But poor foul shooting almost cost Tech the game. Davila has to get better (48% on the year).