BLACKSBURG, Va. – Freshman Erick Green tallied personal bests of 15 points and four assists to help the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team to an 85-50 win over Longwood on Wednesday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.
Green played a career-high 30 minutes in relief of the ACC’s leading scorer, Malcolm Delaney, who sprained his left ankle just one minute and 22 seconds into the game and did not return.
“When Malcolm went down, obviously that kind of makes you a little sick,” Tech head coach Seth Greenberg said after the game. “But I thought our kids really rallied. We defended pretty well and we had a lot of different guys contribute.”
Junior Jeff Allen (13 points), junior Dorenzo Hudson (11) and freshman Ben Boggs (10) joined Green in double figures for Tech, which moved to 11-1 on the season and extended its winning streak to eight games. Both marks are the Hokies’ best since they won nine consecutive contests to begin the 1995-96 season with a 12-1 record.
Longwood fell to 3-11 with the loss, and was paced by Dana Smith’s 11 points.
Tech opened the game on a 19-4 run, holding the Lancers without a field goal until the 11:25 mark of the first half. For the game, Tech shot 58.8 percent from the field (30-of-51), while Longwood shot just 25.7 percent (18-of-70). The Hokies also hit a season-high 23 free throws, though it took them 41 attempts to do so.
But the story of the game was the way Tech’s bench stepped up in Delaney’s absence. The Hokies got 47 points from their bench, including career highs from Green, Boggs, freshman Cadarian Raines (six) and senior Paul Debnam (six).
Green went 6-of-10 from the field to pace all scorers, and Greenberg said he hopes for the rookie to continue to lead in what could turn into an expanded role.
“I thought Erick Green did a nice job,” Greenberg said. “He was put into a very difficult situation because, let’s face it, one minute into the game, he’s not expected to go in. But I thought he showed good poise.”
As for Delaney, he was sporting a walking boot and crutches after he returned from the training room midway through the first half.
“Initial X-rays were negative, but we’re sending him for an MRI because that’s the right thing to do to make sure that there is nothing wrong,” Greenberg said. “We’re hoping for good news, but we will not play him until he’s ready to play.”
Allen grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and was 6-of-9 from the floor in just 15 minutes of action. All 13 of his points came in the second half, as he spent much of the first on the bench with foul trouble.
The Hokies will now travel to Cancun, Mexico, for a 7:30 p.m., game against Seton Hall on Saturday in the Cancun Governor’s Cup that will air on ESPN2.
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