Tag Archive | "miami"

Game Film | miami 70, Hokies 65 | 3.12.10

Recap | Box Score

Posted in 2009-10, 2009-10 Season, ACC Tournament, HighlightsComments (0)

Game Recap | miami (5-12, 20-12) 70, Hokies (10-7, 23-8) 65

Virginia Tech and miami at the 2010 ACC Tournament.

The No. 12 seed miami hurricanes shocked the No. 4 seed Virginia Tech, 70-65, in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.

Highlights | Box Score

The Virginia Tech Hokies knew they were in for a tough game today against the No. 12 seeded miami hurricanes, and they got one. The canes manhandled wake forest in the opening round on Thursday and were apparently still amped from the win as they upset the Hokies 70-65.

Jeff Allen led the Hokies offensively, scoring 18 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Dorenzo Hudson, who missed the Hokies’ regular season finale – a road win over gt – went off for 15 points in the first half, but managed only one point in the second half.

Seth Greenberg, who is now mentioned as a favorite for both the rutgers and st. john’s jobs, got great contributions from Terrell Bell, who hit 4/9 three pointers for 12 points. All nine of Bell’s attempts were from behind the line. JT Thompson also stepped up with 10 points. Lewis Witcher added a tip-in for two points.

Malcolm Delaney, the ACC’s leading scorer, played easily his worst game of the season, scoring a just seven points. It’s the first ACC contest in which he failed to reach double figures. Only twice this season has Delaney scored fewer points: against longwood when he left the game with a high ankle sprain less than a minute into the game and against nc central where he scored five points before being taken out.

Today, Delaney was 3/15 from the field and miserable 0/8 from three point range. He attempted only three free throws and made only one. As Delaney goes, so go the Hokies. That, and their lack of size and rebounding ability.

The Hokies got destroyed on the boards and got out-rebounded 29-46 by the canes and that was the deciding factor of the game, plain and simple. As if that weren’t enough, the Hokies shot just 38 percent to miami’s 46. Take away Delaney’s dismal day and the Hokies shot 43 percent.

Tech took a 65-64 lead with 2:02 to play in the game when Jeff Allen hit one of two free throws. The Hokies failed to score again as miami closed the game with a 6-0 run.

The Hokies, the No. 4 seed, were a little sluggish out of the game and trailed 4-2 after 2-1/2 minutes, but Hudson got the Hokies’ offense rolling with a three-pointer from the right wing. Hudson, back from missing Tech’s regular season finale with a foot injury, scored eight straight points and 13 of Tech’s next 20 points to push the Hokies’ lead to 22-12 at the under 12 media timeout.

miami crawled back into the game with clutch shooting while the Hokies went cold (sound familiar) and eventually took two brief leads (33-32 and 35-33) in the final 2:13 of the half. But Jeff Allen scored the final four points of the first half to put Tech ahead 37-35 at the break.

The Hokies will now have to sit and wait for Sunday to see where they will be seeded in the NCAA tournament. This loss definitely hurt and they’ll like be seeded anywhere from 9-12.

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Game Film | miami 82, VT 75 | 1.31.10

Highlights from the VT loss on Sunday courtesy of Raycom Sports…

Posted in 2009-10, 2009-10 Season, Games, HighlightsComments (0)

miami (16-5, 2-5) 82, Hokies (16-4, 3-3) 75

Box Score

The Hokies showed a lot of character this afternoon crawling back from a 19 point deficit in the second half to challenge the canes in the final minutes, but only to come up short 82-75. Behind the play of some tenacious pressure defense, Tech had 7 steals and forced 11 turnovers in the second half to trim the double-digit miami lead to single digits. With just over 30 seconds remaining and miami leading 75-70, the canes missed a front end of a 1-and-1. The Hokies rebounded with a chance to make it a one possession game. Malcolm Delaney drove the ball down the lane only to miss a wild, off-balance shot. That was the Hokies last chance to steal a victory as the canes went on to make their free throws and stretch the lead beyond the Hokies reach.

It was a tale of two halves for the Hokies on defense. Tech came into the game leading the conference in scoring defense, and the Hokies showed that in the second half. In addition to the opportunity in the final 30 seconds, Tech had several other prime chances earlier in the second half to cut the lead to less than 5 points, but just couldn’t convert on offense.

Dorenzo Hudson led the Hokies with 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting. Jeff Allen pitched in 19 and J.T. Thompson scored 14. Malcolm Delaney had a bit of an off-night on offense today, going 0 for 5 from three point lead and scoring 16 total, which is about 4 points under his average. It is the second straight game that Malcolm has not made a three-pointer.

After the Hokies got out to a 4-0 start, the canes outscored Tech by 21 points to take a 47-30 lead at the half. The canes shot 70% from the field in the first half, including 5 of 8 from three point territory. The first half today was the exact opposite of the first half in the first meeting between these two teams in Blacksburg. The Hokies shot lights out in the first half of the game in Blacksburg. Not this time around. Tech shot 38% from the field in the first half, including 2 of 9 from the three point line. miami made the Hokies look pitiful on defense as Tech gave up the most points in the first half all season. miami spread things around with 11 assists and 10 players scoring. Only Delaney, Allen, and Hudson scored for the Hokies in the first half.

As the first half was winding down with the Hokies trailing by 8 to 10 points, you hoped Tech could repeat the late half spurts that they put together in Charlottesville on Thursday. Unfortunately, the opposite happened. Dorenzo Hudson made two critical fouls on three-pointers that helped miami stretch their lead eventually to 17. Another key factor in the first half was Malcolm Delaney picking up 2 fouls in the first nine minutes of the game.The Hokies did hang tough with him out of the lineup, but you don’t know what could have happened if Malcolm had played his normal minutes in the first half. He did eventually return before the end of the half.

All in all, you have to be happy with a split on the road this week and I’d rather have the win at uva than at miami. With unc and clemson coming up at home this week, I’d be happy with another 1-1 week.

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Preview | VT (3-2 | 16-3) @ miami (1-5 | 15-5) | Sun., 1 PM | Raycom

Don’t forget to come to the Clarendon Hard Times to watch the game and enjoy free bar nachos (with $10 purchase)!


Let’s hope there isn’t a hangover from Thursday’s big win!  A win here would give the Hokies their second ACC road win and put Tech in prime position to finish 8-8 or better in the conference and get a NCAA bid.

The c-a-n-e-s canes blew into Blacksburg with hurricane-like force on January 13th.  The u stood at 15-1.  Two and a half weeks later the canes are wheezing worse than someone having an asthma attack, having lost four games in a row, including an 81-66 loss to the Hokies:

The Hokies led by as many as 35 in the first half that game, taking the canes behind the woodshed early.  The key for the Hokies was hot three-point shooting.  Tech hit 7 of 9 from deep in the first half.  The Hokies shot 62% from the field as a whole (18/29).  miami did get within 15 somewhat early in the second half, but Tech kept the canes at arm’s length the rest of the contest.  Tech shot just 29% (7/24) and were 0/7 on threes in yet another example of a poor second half for the Hokies.  Luckily, it didn’t matter since VT led by 27 at the half.

Since then, it hasn’t been much better.  The canes lost by 18 at uva, by 4 at home to bc (the eagles swept them), and by 22 at maryland.  In all three road contests (including the VT game), they trailed by at least 20 at some point, and by at least 34 in the VT and terps games.  In the bc game, the u blew a 17 point second half lead.  Needless to say, they are reeling.

Here’s all you have to know how bad the canes have played in the ACC – they are last in the ACC in scoring (in conference games) at 64 ppg and second to last in scoring defense at 73.8 ppg.  That’s how you get to be 1-5 and in last.

That said, home teams are 25-10 in league action, so any win on the road is a blessing.  The canes are 1-1 at home, beating the now surging wake forest demon deacons and losing to the bc eagles.  Don’t expect this to just be a cake-walk for the Hokies.

Keys to Winning:

Quick Start: Expect one of two things from the canes on Sunday: A) Head Coach Frank Haith has lit a fire in them all week in practice and they will come out and play inspired ball, or B) they will come out flat and uninterested as they did Tuesday.  Even if they do come out fired up, if the Hokies can build an early lead as they have in most of their ACC contests, expect miami to lay down and not put up much of a fight the rest of the way.

Going Deep: miami leads the ACC in threes per game, hitting 8.1.  They did make 6 against Tech the first time… but on 27 attempts.  The canes were just 2/10 at the half.  If Tech can take this part of their game away again, it will really limit the offensively challenged canes.  But teams do shoot better at home.  On offense, we can’t expect the Hokies to hit 7 of 9 first half threes again.  Hopefully they can hit open looks though over the course of the game.

DC vs JA: Dwayne Collins has gone just 2/10 and averaged just 6.5 ppg in the last two meetings with VT.  He had 23 points on 7/10 shooting in the OT loss in miami last year.  Will that Collins show up or the more recent one?  He was benched for the start of the maryland game this week but did play with some fire towards the end of the game (after they were down 30).  We’ll see if Collins shows that early in this game.  Jeff Allen has averaged over 13 ppg in the last three meetings against the canes.  He had 14 against the canes in Blacksburg.  Tech needs him to have a big game, especially since you can’t count on a hot three-point effort again and because miami doesn’t have anyone that can stop him inside.


Position Virginia Tech miami
Guard 23 Delaney – 6?3? 3 Grant – 6?1?
Guard 5 Hudson – 6?5? 23 Dews – 6?4?
Forward 1 Bell – 6?6? 31 Jones – 6?6?
Forward 0 Allen – 6?7? 20 McGowan – 6?9?
Forward 14 Davila – 6?8? 21 Collins – 6?8?
Bench 33 Thompson – 6?6? 1 Scott – 6?5?
Bench 11 Green – 6?4? 30 Thomas – 6?7?
Bench 24 Boggs – 6?4? 42 Johnson – 6?9?
Bench 4 Raines – 6?9? 45 Gamble – 6?9?

Since the two teams played just 2 1/2 weeks ago, here’s the link to the preview from then if you would like more on the canes and for my interview with our canes buddy, Kartik Krishnaiyer:

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Game Film | VT 81, miami 66 | 1.13.10

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Recap | VT (1-1, 13-2) 81, miami (1-2, 15-2) 66

Highlights | Box Score

Blacksburg, VA — The Virginia Tech Hokies improved to 13-2 overall and picked up their first ACC win of the season (1-1) by dominating No. 23 miami 81-66.

Malcolm Delaney led Tech with 28 points and a career-high 9 assists. Jeff Allen had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Terrell Bell tied a career-high with 13 points, all in the first half, and Dorenzo Hudson had 11. Both Allen and Victor Davila fouled out of the game late in the second half. Bell hit a career-high three treys in the game.

The Hokies came out of the gate fired up and dominated miami in every phase of the game. Tech shot 62 percent from the field in the first half including 78 percent from three-point range (7 of 9). They were unstoppable offensively and like Fort Knox when it came to defense.

One can only imagine that the second half of the unc game, which resulted in a double-digit loss, left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Hokies. And they took out their frustrations on the 23rd-ranked canes, at least in the first half.

Tech led 50-16 with 1:00 to play in the first half before surrendering a 7-0 run to take a 50-23 lead into the break. The Hokies led by as many as 35 (48-13) in the first half.

The second half, like the unc game, was a completely different story. Tech went ice cold and shot just 29 percent from the field. They also got caught up in a faster pace game and instead of taking their time and controlling the tempo, they tried to run-and-gun with miami and it failed. The canes cut the Hokies’ 23-point halftime lead down to 15 points in the second half. But that’s as close as they’d get.

After a timeout by Greenberg, the Hokies calmed down, tightened up on defense and started controlling the clock again. Once they did that, it was clear the game was over. Tech has now won four straight over miami.

At the end of the game, fans began chanting “Just like football!” Classic.

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Preview | #23 miami (1-1 | 15-1) @ VT (0-1 | 12-2) | Wed., 7 PM


Hokies are favored by 3.

The AP #23 miami hurricanes, ranked for the first time all season, blow into Blacksburg for a Wednesday night ACC tilt.  This is an immensely important game for the Hokies.  After losing on the road at Chapel Hill, certainly something there is no shame in (or anywhere else on the road in the ACC), the Hokies must guard their Cassell.  Tech cannot afford to limp out of the starting blocks at 0-2, especially with a tough road game in Tallahassee looming on Saturday against the noles.

Look for the Hokies to come out and play inspired, intense basketball Wednesday.  They know they were in that game at unc Sunday, leading for most of the first 25 minutes and within 5 with 6 minutes to go.  Tech played hard and needs similar focus against the rival canes.  Even though the students are on break, VT needs a fired up crowd, too, to push them on.

SERIES: 8-8 (Tech is 7-2 against the canes since the teams joined the ACC, VT was just 1-6 in Big East play versus miami)


  • Defend the Perimeter: The canes love to bomb from deep.  villanova transfer Malcolm Grant, senior James Dews, and wing-man Adrian Thomas all shoot around 45% from deep.  The canes are #3 in the ACC, hitting 40% of their threes, and are #1 in threes made by far with 140 (Tech has only made 65).  The canes are not a great team at penetrating, so Tech must get out on their man and get hands in the faces of the shooters.  And Grant will shoot from very deep.  Don’t expect much of the 2-3 zone against the canes with their outside shooting.
  • Delaney: Malcolm was not able to back-peddle much at all on Sunday and it hurt the Hokies defensively.  Luckily, since the canes are not nearly as adept at penetrating as the heels, this shouldn’t be as much of a factor.  But Tech’s interior defenders much recognize this issue and help as guys do drive, especially Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant.  That will mean the rest of the defense, including Delaney, need to look to rotate and help against Collins in the low post, or three-point shooters sliding along the perimeter.
  • Donuts Back in Stock: The Big Donut, Jeff Allen, scored a donut in the second half against the heels Sunday and was all but invisible.  He was working hard on offense and at times was flashing hard for the ball in the post, but simply didn’t do enough.  He must be a factor – every night – no matter what the size or talent of the other team.  Expect Seth to light a fire under him this week and hopefully Allen will respond with a big game.  Jeff is now third on the team in scoring – the same place he finished up his first two years at VT.  There is no way you can convince me he is the third best player, especially on offense, on this team – this year or in the past.  Now is the time for him to show he’s a star, a Trevor Booker-type player.  His defense will also be key against Dwayne Collins, a fellow enigma.
  • In the Zo-ne: Dorenzo Hudson has hit double digits in six of his last seven games, attacking the hoop and either scoring in transition or getting to the foul line.  Even Sunday he was a solid 7 of 16 on two-point shots, but the 0 for 6 from behind the arc really drags things down.  And he’s just 7 of 29 on threes over that seven game stretch, under 25%.  He needs to establish his game inside the arc first, and with some confidence, then try a heat-check three to see if it goes in.  If not, abandon ship and stick with the drive.
  • Wet Willie’s: In honor of the canes coming to town, make yourself a frozen drink with grain in it, similar to what they serve in South Beach at Wet Willie’s.  If you don’t have a Slurpee-making machine like me, just go pick one up at 7-11 and add some vodka or Everclear or whatever else floats your boat.  Sure, it will be extremely cold Wednesday, but let’s just pretend we are on South Beach for a fleeting moment.
  • Hunger: Tech needs to win this game, and even though the bright lights of FSN Sunday Night Hoops won’t be on Wednesday (in fact, the game isn’t on TV at all), and they aren’t in Chapel Hill playing the heels, and the students are on break, the Hokies need to realize this is a big ACC game, not umbc or longwood.  Same intensity for 16 games, 4 minutes at a time, for 40 minutes.  That’s what Greenberg preaches and that’s what Tech needs.  This canes team is on par with the Hokies, but you must win at home and Tech must come out and give their best to win.

THE u:

The canes are coming off a nice 67-66 win over wake in Coral Gables on Saturday.  I watched that game and was impressed with the u.  I had figured there were be a big drop-off with star Jack McClinton gone from last year, but the new guards, Malcolm Grant and 4-star recruit Durand Scott are both playing well, complimenting senior James Dews in the backcourt.

In the front court, senior Dwayne Collins is back.  He is a poor man’s Trevor Booker – has the size and talent to dominate but doesn’t show up every night.  But he is averaging 13 ppg and over 8.5 rpg.  Dwayne looked fantastic against the mammoth wake lineup, scoring 23 points on 9/12 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.  Collins had 23 points in the VT @ miami regular season match-up last year, but the Hokies made him a non-factor in Atlanta in the ACC Tournament, limiting him to 4 points.  That, right there, is the story of Collins’s career – there some nights, no where to be found other nights (similar to Jeff Allen).

The rest of the low post players for the u are just role players: Reggie Johnson has “slimmed down” to 295 pounds but is just a space-eater, Cyrus McGowan and Julian Gamble are just minutes-eaters inside, DeQuan Jones was a big recruit but doesn’t seem to have much game, and Adrian Thomas is exclusively a three-point bomber on the wing (81 of his 93 shots have been threes).

On offense, the canes want to bomb from deep.  Three of their top five scorers shoot more threes than two (Dews, Grant, and Thomas) and all are very good shooters hitting around 45% of their threes each.  That is fantastic and is the reason why they are 8th in the country in Effective Field Goal Percentage at 56.4%.  Their free throw shooting is not great, in fact terrible, coming in at dead last in the ACC (yes, even worse than clemson).  Foul them inside the arc over giving up an easy shot.

Thomas will only shoot from deep and Tech does not have to respect his drive, but he tends to drift and get lost on offense until someone finds him spotting up.  The Hokies will have to stay on him, and if they leave him, rotate to get a hand in his face.  Grant likes to shoot the LONG threes, much like McClinton used to.  Dews also is solid from behind the arc.

In summary, this team misses the swagger and clutch shooting of McClinton, but they seem to be a better defensive team with him gone (much like the Hokies not having Vassallo anymore).  This game will be a slugfest.  Let’s just hope it ends up like the football game this past September, minus the monsoon.

For more on the canes, check our Kartik Krishnaiyer’s thoughts in our Opposing View – miami column.


Expect this game to be in the 60s.  miami needs to hit a lot of threes to win and/or have a big game from Dwayne Collins.  Tech must find ways to get points in transition like they did in the first half against unc.  This can come via live ball turnovers, or getting the ball up quickly after securing defensive rebounds.  The Hokies don’t want to have to work all game in the half court, as the canes have an advantage in that scenario due to their solid outside shooting.  Whomever can better asert their offensive key (threes for the canes, transition points for VT) will likely win, as both teams play good half court defense.


Position Virginia Tech miami
Guard 23 Delaney – 6’3″ 3 Grant – 6’1″
Guard 5 Hudson – 6’5″ 23 Dews – 6’4″
Forward 1 Bell – 6’6″ 31 Jones – 6’6″
Forward 0 Allen – 6’7″ 20 McGowan – 6’9″
Forward 14 Davila – 6’8″ 21 Collins – 6’8″
Bench 33 Thompson – 6’6″ 1 Scott – 6’5″
Bench 11 Green – 6’4″ 30 Thomas – 6’7″
Bench 24 Boggs – 6’4″ 42 Johnson – 6’9″
Bench 4 Raines – 6’9″ 45 Gamble – 6’9″


VT PPG miami PPG
Delaney 20.2 Collins 12.9
Hudson 12.4 Dews 12.3
Allen 12 Grant 10.8
Davila 7.3 Scott 8.1
Thompson 5.9 Thomas 7.8
Bell 5.4 Jones 6.2
Green 3.9 Johnson 5.5
Boggs 3.3 McGowan 4.8
Raines 1.9 Gamble 2.5


Virginia Tech miami
PPG 73.4 (8th) 77.5 (5th)
Pts Against 61.2 (5th) 58.0 (1st)
FG % 44% (12th) 49% (2nd)
3-Pt % 32% (11th) 40% (3rd)
FT % 69% (6th) 63% (12th)


  • Founded in 1925
  • Type: Private
  • Undergrads: 9.8k
  • They have more out of state students than Floridians
  • Mascot: Sebastian the Ibis
  • Inventions: Swagger
  • 5 time national champs in football
  • Former VT coaching great, Bill Foster, resurrected their basketball program in the 1980s before he came to VT

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Game Recap | Hokies (18-13, 8-9) 65, miami (18-12, 7-10) 47

Box Score | Highlights

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.

Posted in 2008-09 Season, Game Recaps, Games, HomeComments (2)

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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