Virginia Tech took one small step toward playing its way back into the Big Dance with a dominating 65-47 win over No. 9 seed miami in the first round of the 2009 ACC Tournament. The Hokies held the canes to just 47 points — the lowest point total Tech has allowed all season. It was also the fewest points Tech has allowed in an ACC tournament game and fewest points scored by a miami team in four seasons. Tech has now won nine straight tournament-opening games.
This win was chock-full of milestones. The Hokie defense played perhaps its best game of the season, locking miami down. Not a single player for the canes scored in double-figures. Jack McClinton, miami’s shoot-it-from-anywhere All ACC guard was held to just 9 points, tying a season low for him.
Senior A.D. Vassallo set a new Virginia Tech record for most 3-pointers made in a career with a pair of treys, moving ahead of Walley Lancaster (257) and into first place with 258. With at least two more games left in his season, Vassallo will likely add to his new record.
Sophomore Malcolm Delaney played a stellar defensive game, but Tech’s second-leading scorer struggled from the field, hitting just 1 of 10 shots. However, he did have 8 assists and 14/15 made free throws. His 14 free throws gives him 205 for the season, which breaks Bimbo Coles’ VT record of 200 set during the 1988-89 season. Coles played 29 games that season, while Delaney needed 31 to set the new record.
Delaney, despite just one made field goal, led the Hokies with 17 points. Vassallo added 14, and J.T. Thompson gave the Hokies a huge game with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Dorenzo Hudson also played perhaps his best game of the season, helping the Hokies get a good start with a 3-pointer to open the game, giving Tech the early lead, which they never gave up. Hudson started and helped Delaney lock down McClinton, preventing him from getting very many open looks.
The Hokies built a 14-point lead in the first half, but miami used a 16-6 run to end the half and cut Tech’s lead to four, 28-24.
The Hokies led the entire game, and used a 14-0 run in the second half to pull away for the win. Tech, the No. 8 seed, will face top seed unc tomorrow at noon in the ACC quarterfinals.