longwood looked rock solid in the first 10 minutes of each half, but went flaccid in the second part of both halves. If the Hokies had played like this against maryland Thursday, they’d have lost by 17. But in the end the Hokies pulled out their 9th win in 10 games.
The Hokies trailed 15-10 at the 10-minute mark of the first half, and were outscored 17-16 in the first 10 minutes of the second half. But Tech dominated the final 10 of both halves. The Hokies finished the first half on a 19-4 run to lead 29-19 at the break and went on a 16-2 run late in the second half to blow open a fairly tight game (VT was up just 51-40 with 9 minutes to go before that run made it 67-42). longwood closed the game on a 10-3 run to prevent a Bear Fight and establish the 70-52 final score.
Plays of the Game:
- Green’s baseline block while back-pedaling midway through the second half.
- The back-to-back fast break finishes by Bell (dunk) and Green (layup) to put VT up 25.
- The substitute PA Announcer who clearly was bucking for the full time gig. He clearly had the most energy in the arena, treating this like it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals in Chicago.
Malcolm Delaney led the Hokies with 23 points. It marked just the second time all season VT won when he scored 21 or more (the other was unc-greensboro). Tech is 2-4 when he surpasses 20, 11-1 when he doesn’t. Malcolm took advantage of a lot of whistles and converted 10/12 free throws. He hit 6/14 from the floor, but just one 3-pointer.
Erick Green had 14 points to make him a ‘Perfect 10′ — he’s reached double digits in points in all 10 games he’s started (in a row). His three-point shot has been off the last 5 games (1/10) but he continues to knock down mid-range jumpers, something Tech was sorely missing early in the year with Hudson’s struggles.
Tech was awful from behind the arc other than Manny “Millions” Atkins. He hit both of his 3-point attempts. The rest of the team was just 3/17. Tech started 2/14 from deep.
Jeff Allen, whom I had penned in with a double-double, had just 6 points. He did have 10 rebounds but for some reason was unable to take advantage of the 6’2″ guy guarding him most of the game.
The Hokies played mostly man defense tonight for the first time in a long while. They showed some of their now base 2-3 zone defense and even used a 1-3-1 halfcourt trap at one point. I expect to see Tech back in the zone against the yellow jackets on Tuesday.
Antwan Carter, longwood’s leading scorer with 17 ppg, had 14, but just 4 in the first half. Aaron Mitchell also had 14.
- VT had just 3 first half turnovers but 8 in the second half.
- Tech shot just 30% in the first half. The problem in the second half was the giveaways.
- The Hokies shot 16/26 (62%) in the second half.
- Manny “Millions” is red hot from deep – he’s hit 8/13 over his last four games and is heading to his sort-of hometown Atlanta on Tuesday.
- Tech finished 15/17 from the line (88%), their 2nd best effort of the season (92% against the now 5-1 fsu ‘noles).
- longwood had just 1 offensive rebound in the first half (they’re tiny) but 8 in the second half.
- VT won points off turnovers 24-13 and fastbreak points 14-5 (longwood slowed the game down despite being an up-tempo team).
- This was the 6th straight game Tech has taken a double digit lead in the first half.
- The lancers are now 10-95 all-time on the road since joining D-1, 0-11 this season. (Paul Hewitt-like numbers)
- Tech moved to 7-2 at home this year with 5 games left. Unless they lose all 5 remaining ACC home games, and a NIT home game, they clinched at least a .500 record at home. Tech has only had 1 losing record at the Cassell and that was under… you guessed it… ricky stokes.
- VT finished the out of conference slate with a 10-3 record.
Halftime: VT 29, longwood 19 (below was written at halftime…)
Apparently the Hokies thought the game started at 7:30, but eventually came to life and pounded longwood. longwood went flacid after the first 10 minutes. The lancers jumped out to a shocking 15-10 lead, but the Hokies closed the first half on a 19-4 run to take a 29-19 halftime advantage. The lancers scored just 1 point in the final 6:45 of the first half.
Tech suffered shooting shrinkage in the first half. After easily shooting over 50% against maryland, the Hokies finished the first half just 9/30 (30%). VT was just 2/12 on 3-pointers. The key? They were in the bonus less than 7 minutes in to the game and hit 9/11 free throws in the first half (Delaney had both misses, if you can believe that, including another front end of a one-and-one). longwood was charged with 11 fouls (including 3 by their star, Antwan Carter) to just 4 by VT in the first half.
Malcolm Delaney paced the Hokies with 11 first half points. No one else had more than 6 (Atkins and Green). Allen is making me a terrible fortune teller again – he had just 2 points at the half despite having undersized men on him (I predicted an easy double-double for him).
Surprisingly, the lancers did a great job on the defensive glass early. They had a 6’2″ player (Aaron Mitchell) guarding Jeff Allen early, but held Tech to just 1 offensive rebound early. Then Tech started sending 4 or 5 guys to the glass and the result was a tsunami of offensive rebounds. Tech finished with 9 offensive rebounds at the break, to just 1 by longwood.
I thought this game would be a good dress rehearsal for Tuesday. longwood, much like georgia tech, like to push the ball and play out of control. But the lancers focused on milking the clock after getting up early. It looked like 4-corners at times and they suffered a couple of shot clock violations in the first half. longwood had 8 turnovers at the break to just 3 by VT.
Tech returns to action Tuesday against tech in Atlanta on your regional ACC channel.