November 17, 2009
Second-half run carries Tech over UNCG
By Jimmy Robertson
12F
UNC Greensboro (0-2) 262046
Virginia Tech (2-0) 263359
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,693
  • High Points: 17 - Malcolm Delaney
  • High Rebounds: 10 - Jeff Allen

BLACKSBURG – Jeff Allen recorded his first double-double of the season and both he and Malcolm Delaney keyed an 11-0 run midway through the second half that propelled the cold-shooting Hokies to a 59-46 hard-fought victory over UNC Greensboro in non-conference game Tuesday night at Cassell Coliseum.

The victory lifted the Hokies to 2-0 on the season and 6-0 all time against UNCG. The Spartans fell to 0-2.

“We’re not where we want to be, but that’s what this time of the year is for,” Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “I’m not going to lose my mind. I’m trying to get our guys a little better and a little more confident. Defensively in the second half, we were really good and we got a zillion offensive rebounds, but we couldn’t make a shot – and we got good shots.

“This time of the year, you’re going to see scores like this. I’m not embarrassed by this. There are areas that I’m disappointed in, but as we grow, if continue to win games, that’s fine. Let’s learn from this. That’s what we’re trying to do. If we were where we needed to be today, then we wouldn’t have anything to look forward to.”

UNCG tied this one at 38 on a basket by Kyle Randall with 10:48 remaining. But Allen and Delaney sparked Tech’s 11-0 run, with Delaney scoring seven of those points and Allen the other four. Delaney’s 3-pointer with 6:39 left in the game gave the Hokies a 49-38 lead and the Spartans got no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

“Coach told us to keep working,” Delaney said. “He knew it was going to be one of those games that was a grind-out game. We were doing good on defense. He told us to keep the defensive intensity up. Even if shots aren’t falling for us, if we’re getting stops, we don’t have to worry about losing games.”

Allen finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for his 20th career double-double. Delaney added 17 points despite hitting just 6-of-16 from the floor. The Hokies shot just 37.5 percent as a team and only hit 1-of-13 from beyond the 3-point arc.

“The basket was small today,” Greenberg said. “We had lay-ups, we had put-backs, we had open 3’s, we had kick-outs – it’s not like we didn’t have open shots. We just didn’t make any.

“We’ve got to look at the positives. We only had 12 turnovers, so we’re taking care of the basketball. We held them to 28 percent from the field in the second half. We turned them over 23 times. Those things are positive. I don’t care who you’re playing against or what league they’re from. The only thing we didn’t do was make shots.”

Randall and Mikko Koivisto paced the Spartans with 10 points each. Koivisto scored all of his 10 in the first half, but in the second half, Tech’s Dorenzo Hudson blanketed him. Koivisto didn’t get a shot attempt in the final 20 minutes.

“I was really proud of Dorenzo,” Greenberg said. “I thought he did a really, really good job.”

For the game, Tech held UNCG to 35.3 percent shooting from the field and forced 23 turnovers.

The Hokies now hit the road for their next four games, starting with a contest next Monday night in Buies Creek, N.C., against Campbell. Tip-off for that game is slated for 7 p.m.

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