January 13, 2010
Huge first half lifts Hokies past No. 23 Miami
By Jimmy Robertson
12F
(23) Miami (15-2, 1-2) 234366
Virginia Tech (13-2, 1-1) 503181
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,827
  • High Points: 28 - Malcolm Delaney
  • High Rebounds: 10 - Jeff Allen

BLACKSBURG – Malcolm Delaney had 28 points and nine assists, and Terrell Bell tied a career high with 13 points – all in the first half – as Virginia Tech jumped out to a huge lead and rolled to an 81-66 victory over No. 23 Miami in an ACC game on Wednesday night at Cassell Coliseum.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 13-2 overall on the season, 1-1 in the ACC. Tech also knocked off Miami for the fourth straight time.

“It’s so important to win this game because you have to win your home games in the league,” Tech head coach Seth Greenberg said. “And it was so important to win this game so that we had no self-doubt. We are a good team, but this league, I’m not sure anyone is Kansas or Texas. Everyone, though, is really good.”

Virginia Tech sprinted out to an 11-2 lead and then put the game away with a 35-8 run that spanned nearly 13 minutes of the first half. Bell hit a 3-pointer with 2:43 to go and added a basket with 2:16 remaining to give the Hokies their biggest lead, 48-13. The Hokies shot 62 percent (18 of 29) in the first half, making of their first 9 3-point attempts, and led 50-23 at the break.

Miami never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.

“It doesn’t hurt when you make 7 of your first 9 3s,” Greenberg said. “We had some guys who made some shots. You’re a whole lot smarter when you make shots. When you make shots, you’re a good coach. When you don’t make shots, you’re a bad coach. It’s not tricky. But we’re better when we defend. When we defend, it seems like we make shots.”

“They shot the ball way better from the perimeter than I thought they would,” Miami head coach Frank Haith said. “They played very well and we didn’t play very well.”

Miami (15-2, 1-2) shot just 27 percent in the first half (7 of 26) and had its seven-game winning streak snapped. The ACC's leader in 3-pointers made coming into the game (140) missed its first eight attempts from beyond the arc. The Hurricanes were 6 of 27 on 3s for the game.

“Give them [Virginia Tech] credit,” Haith said. “Our defense had been good all year. Tonight, it let us down. When we don’t shoot the ball well or have a night like that offensively, our defense has to be better and we didn’t defend like we needed to.”

Delaney, the ACC’s leading scorer at better than 20 points per game, connected of 6 of 14 from the floor. He made 14 of 16 from the free-throw line, and Tech made 24 of 33 from the line.

Bell, who had scored in double figures only once this season, went 5 of 6 from the floor. He had never hit more than one 3-pointer in a game in his career, but connected on all three of his attempts – all in the first half.

“My shot just felt good and I was shooting it,” Bell said. “It worked out for the best.”

Jeff Allen added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Hokies, while Dorenzo Hudson had 11 points.

The Hurricanes had only one player in double figures. Dews led Miami with 11 points.

The Hokies now hit the road for their next game, a date at Florida State on Saturday. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech men's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MBBall).

For updates on the Hokies, follow Jimmy Robertson on Twitter (@jrobIHS).

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