Tag Archive | "012509-miami"

Game Film | Hokies 88, canes 81 | 1.25.09

Recap | Box Score

Posted in 2008-09, 2008-09 Season, Games, Highlights, HomeComments (4)

Recap | Hokies (14-5, 4-1) 88, miami (14-5, 3-3) 83 – OT


Malcolm Delaney scored a career-high 29 points, and A.D. Vassallo dropped in 28 to lead the Virginia Tech Hokies to a crucial ACC road win over the miami hurricanes, 88-83 in overtime. Delaney was lights out and his clutch three pointer in overtime with the shot clock expiring put the Hokies ahead for good.

This was another nail-biter of an ACC game as neither team could distance itself from the other. Tech’s “big three” once again powered the Hokies, combining for 74 of the team’s 88 points. Only four starters scored; Delaney – 29, A.D. Vassallo – 28, Jeff Allen – 17, and J.T. Thompson – 2. The fifth starter, freshman Victor Davila, did not score. The bench combined for 12 points, and Lewis Witcher had half of those. The “big three” truly lived up to their billing tonight.

The Hokies took a quick 2-0 lead, but miami came back and took the lead and kept it for most of the first half. The canes led by seven — their largest lead of the game — midway through the first half, but Delaney scored six straight points for the Hokies to pull Tech to within a bucket. But miami would pull ahead by five once again. The Hokies had an answer all night, though, whenever the u tried to distance themselves, and with 3:07 left in the first half, the Hokies tied the game on a pair of made free throws by Delaney.

Jack McClinton, miami’s much feared shoot-it-from-anywhere threat, turned the ball over on the canes’ next possession and Allen converted, giving the Hokies a 32-30 lead, their first since they led 2-0. Tech would relinquish the lead however, trailing 34-37 before Lewis Witcher got a tip-in with less than a second left to send Tech into the break down by one, 36-37.

The second half saw the canes jump out with a quick 4-0 run to stretch their lead to five. Tech kept it close, though, and the teams would trade the lead five times in the final five minutes. Tech grabbed a five-point lead with 4:38 to play, 70-65, but just as miami couldn’t pull away, neither could the Hokies. With Tech leading 77-74 and less than a minute to play, miami’s Brian Asbury buried a trey to tied the game.

Tech had the last possession and a chance to finally be on the winning end of a last-second shot, but miami’s defense did not allow Delaney a good look and his forced shot in the final seconds missed badly, sending the game into overtime tied at 77.  VT did not take a timeout, choosing to let Malcolm drain the final 20 seconds before attempting the fadeaway game-winner.

Overtime began with a miami 4-0 run and the Hokies quickly found themselves in a hole after only a minute had gone by in the extra session. But Tech tightened up on defense and shut down the canes for the final 3:57 of overtime. The canes managed only two free throws after their initial burst.

Meanwhile, Vassallo, Allen, and Delaney provided all the offense the Hokies would need to pull ahead for good. Allen attacked the lane from the left side and missed his initial shot, but grabbed his own rebound and put it back and got the foul. Allen missed the free throw, but 5’9″ Hank Thorns out-rebounded two miami post players (thanks to a Diakite tip of the ball), giving the Hokies a fresh shot clock.

Tech got the ball inside to Vassallo, who missed a baby hook shot, and the rebound was knocked out of bounds by miami. On the inbounds, Delaney got the ball at the top of the key before driving, spinning and dropping in a little jump hook to tie the game at 81.

A pair of free throws gave the canes the lead, but Delaney answered once again with a big three-pointer to push Tech to an 84-83 lead. Vassallo and Dorenzo Hudson each hit a pair of free throws in the final 25 seconds to put the game away and give the Hokies back-to-back conference road wins.

Even though miami’s star guard Jack McClinton had 20 points in the game, it was a quiet 20.  He started out 1/9 from the field and finished just 6/21.  Hudson, Thompson, and Delaney did an excellent job getting a hand in his face.

The real stars for the u were Brian Asbury, a senior averaging just 6.5 ppg coming in, and big-man Dwayne Collins.  The Hokies left Asbury wide open all night, and the 14% three-point shooter (coming into the game) made them pay, hitting three long balls and scoring 13 early points.  He finished with 21.  Meanwhile, Collins abused the Hokies inside.  At one point in the second half, he scored 13 straight points for the canes, keeping them in the game.  Allen, Diakite, and Witcher simply could not stop him inside, usually resorting to fouling him.

The Hokies now sit alone in second place in the ACC at 4-1.  They play #10 ranked clemson at home on Thursday night.  It’s a BLACKOUT, people!  See you in your finest VT black on Thursday!

Niemo’s Notes:

  • This was a huge win. As noted in the game preview, this is the only time VT plays miami, so the Hokies now have the tiebreaker in a two-way tie for ACC Tournament seedings. More importantly this victory gives the Hokies a second quality win against an RPI Top-50 team.
  • Delaney’s 29 points is tied for the fourth most ever scored in an ACC game by a Hokie.  Amazingly, four of the top seven ACC scoring performances by Hokies have come in the last four games: Allen’s 30 against bc (tied for 2nd), Vassallo’s and Delaney’s 29 against uva and miami respectively (tied for 4th), and Vassallo’s 28 tonight against miami (7th).  Zabian Dowdell (the Hokie from Pahokee) has the high mark with 33 at unc in 2007.
  • Other than the Big 3, only one Hokie scored more than 2 points — Lewis Witcher had 6, all in the first half.  That’s not going to cut it.  Against wake, VT got 25 points from the supporting cast.  Tonight, just 14.  Witcher did have a solid first half though, with 6 points on 3/3 shooting, including a nice left-handed hook and 3 rebounds. In the second half, Witcher didn’t score and had just one board.
  • Hank Thorns had a career-high 8 assists.  He looked like the Hank of last year in this one, setting up some easy buckets for teammates.  However, his jumpshot is just plain awful.  Thorns was 1/5 from the field, and the one make was a layup.  Tech’s starters had just 3 assists.
  • Collins for miami simply manhandled the Hokies inside.  The boxscore only shows two offensive rebounds for Collins, but if you watched this game, there’s no way that’s correct.  Again, Tech’s low post players let him catch the ball way too close to the basket and he made the most of it.  Foul or layup, that’s all VT saw in the second half.  And if you think it will be easier against clemson, you’re wrong: The Hokies have to face 6’7″, 240 lbs Trevor Booker.  He is every bit as good and tough inside as Collins.
  • McClinton and Collins had 24 of miami’s final 27 points in regulation (everything but the game tying three by Asbury).
  • Victor Davila missed two easy layups early in the game and did not play in the final 30 minutes (does any team miss more layups or potential “and-ones” than the Hokies?).  Witcher and Diakite ate up his minutes.
  • Tech’s offense looks great of late (well, I guess the Big 3 does).  They shot 49% tonight after shooting 50% against wake.  Since the duke thumping, VT has scored 78, 79, 78, and 77 in regulation in their last four ACC games.  Not bad for a team that wasn’t even averaging 70 points per game before that point.  The Hokies have been able to match the quality ACC offenses and play the higher scoring game.
  • Tech had three players play 40+ minutes — the Big 3, of course.  Delaney and Vassallo played 43.  Yet they were still money in overtime when it mattered most.
  • Speaking of money, how money was A.D. in the second half?  He had 17 second-half points, including three clutch long balls.  One of those tied the game at 63 with six minutes to go, and then A.D. hit another one on the next possession to put the Hokies ahead.  Vassallo also became the 14th Hokie to reach the career 1,500 point mark.  Congrats!
  • The Hokies have now won 7 overtime games in a row in ACC play and are 8-1 all time.  The Big 3 is 4-0 in ACC OT games.
  • Tech has won 9 of 10 games, tying the best 10 game run under Seth (also did it in 2006-07).
  • This is the third time VT has won five in a row under Greenberg but they have never made it to six.

Posted in 2008-09 Season, Game Recaps, GamesComments (9)

Preview | VT (13-5, 3-1) @ miami (14-4, 3-2) | Sun., 5:30 PM | FSN


Spread: miami is favored by 6.5

The Hokies return to Fox Sport’s Sunday Night Hoops, but hopefully with better success than their other appearance – a 69-44 loss to duke.  Right now Tech is riding the gravy train on biscuit wheels!  Since that duke game, the Hokies have won four in a row (and eight of nine), including a 78-71 win over #1 wake forest this past Wednesday.

With a win Sunday, the Hokies will be back above .500 in all-time ACC regular season action for the first time since February 25th, 2005.  Tech is currently sitting at 34 wins and 34 losses in their five ACC seasons.

This game could turn out to be huge in March for two reasons:

  1. This is the only time these teams meet, so this game would affect the tiebreaker for ACC Tournament seeding.  Since these teams were picked fourth (miami) and sixth (VT) in the ACC preseason poll, they likely will be in the neighborhood of each other.
  2. Both teams appear headed towards the NCAA Tournament bubble.  Last year, both teams had similar resumes, but miami made the Big Dance thanks to more quality wins, while the Hokies headed to the Junior Prom.  A win here would give Tech another big time notch in their belt since miami is firmly in the Top 50 of the RPI.

That said, if you had offered me a split on this two game road trip (wake and SoBe), I’d have taken it in a heartbeat.  In fact, if you gave me a guarantee Tech would split their next two games against miami and clemson, I’d sign on the dotted line instantly (regardless of which game was the win).  That would put the Hokies at 4-2 in the ACC heading into a less-taxing stretch of five games by ACC standards – @bc, nc state, ga tech, @md, and @uva – all five teams are towards the bottom of the ACC.

But first things first, if VT can steal another ACC road game on Sunday night, they will tie Seth’s longest winning streak since coming to Tech (five).  And who doesn’t like beating the canes!


  • All-Time: miami 8-6
  • In ACC play: VT 5-2 (includes VT’s win in the 2008 ACC Tourney)
  • In Big East play: miami 6-1 (the canes won the final six meetings)
  • Streak: VT has won 3 of the last 4 match-ups and the teams split last year







Point Guard

23 – Delaney


1 – Hurdle



40 – Vassallo


33 – McClinton



33 – Thompson


31 – Jones


Power Forward

0 – Allen


21 – Collins



14 – Davila


0 – Graham



34 – Diakite


20 – McGowan



10 – Thorns


* see below



1 – Bell


32 – Asbury



21 – Witcher


23 – Dews



5 – Hudson


30 – Thomas


* Eddie Rios, a sophomore guard that lit up the Hokies in Blacksburg last season, has been suspended from the team and will not play.  His cane career is likely done.

Best Match-Up:

It’s the Crab Dribblin’ dual between Malcolm Delaney and Jack McClinton!  McClinton was miami’s first ever All-ACC First-Teamer last season after averaging 17.7 ppg.  This season he has picked up right where he left off averaging 17.8 ppg and has scored at least 9 points in every game.  Jack has had eight 20 point plus games this season, including the last two games against unc and fsu.

Malcolm comes in as the only Hokie to reach double-digits in every game.  He is averaging 18.9 ppg over the last eight games, seven of which were VT wins.

Both hail from Baltimore, that wacky crab-dribblin’ city.  But Jack is significantly older (he’s a redshirt-senior who originally went to siena), so they likely have had much chance to match-up other than last season.


  • Get a hand in McClinton’s face:  He will shoot from anywhere inside of half court, and can hit them.  Incredible range.  And he hits three-pointers at an amazing 47% clip.  Jack leads the ACC in threes made, too, having hit 51 on 109 attempts.  He will force shots though, so if Tech can frustrate him, he will start chucking.  That leads to point #2…
  • Crash the Boards… hard!  miami is not overly tall inside but they are beefy.  I like to call their low post players a hockey goon line.  When they go big, McGowan, Graham, and Collins are all 6’8″ to 6’9″ and 235 pounds plus.  Collins is the most talented of the bunch and is very good with his back to the basket or getting second chance points.  He averages 11.8 ppg (2nd on the team) and 7.8 rpg (1st).  Tech must limit his offensive rebounds.  Graham is the Dennis Rodman of the team (and just as ugly).  He collects almost 6 rpg, but is not a threat at all offensively.  He likes to grab the offensive boards and look to kick it out to McClinton for yet another three.  McGowan is also a banger but has a little more ability to score.  He collects a lot of offensive rebounds and gets his points that way.  miami’s long shots force your guards out onto the perimeter, meaning the Hokie bigs must get the job done on the glass.
  • Donut Offensive Fouls for the Dunking Donut: Jeff Allen has picked up numerous offensive fouls of late, including two at wake.  He missed the last 10 minutes of the first half due to foul trouble.  Jeff has gotten much better at not committing dumb fouls 30 feet from the basket on defense, now he needs to show similar restraint on offense.  Both fouls at wake were on screens.  The Hokies must have him inside to battle with the miami goons.  Also – feed him the ball early, and he stays more involved in the offense.
  • Forget Wednesday: The wake game is over.  The Hokies need to come out right from the start with the intensity they had in Winston-Salem.  Tech will not make the NCAA Tournament with three ACC wins and just one quality win.  This is another chance at a big time win, and against a team the Hokies are very comparable to.  Tech is 2-0 against the bottom of the ACC and 1-1 against the top.  Now we will see how VT compares to the middle of the pack.


Since joining the ACC, the canes are 29-40 in ACC regular season play.  They have never finished better than 8-8 and have yet to reach the ACC Tournament Semi-Finals.  VT is 34-34 with two semi-final appearances.

The canes blow into this game red hot, much like the Hokies.  miami has won seven of their last eight, but they were blown out at unc last weekend and were killed by clemson in their ACC opener in December.

And with that, I’ll leave it up to Kartik from canesrising.com to tell you about this miami squad… The Opposing View – miami

Posted in 2008-09 Season, Game Previews, GamesComments (3)

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