February 21, 2010
Hokies fall 67-55 at sixth-ranked Duke
By Jimmy Robertson
12F
Virginia Tech (21-5, 8-4 ACC) 302555
(6) Duke (23-4, 11-2 ACC) 353267
  • Durham, N.C. - Cameron Indoor Stadium - 9,314
  • High Points: 19 - Malcolm Delaney
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Terrell Bell

DURHAM, N.C. – Malcolm Delaney scored 19 points to keep Virginia Tech in the game, but Duke’s trio of Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer sparked a late run that enabled the sixth-ranked Blue Devils to pull away from the Hokies 67-55 in an ACC game played Sunday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Hokies saw their five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 21-5 overall on the season, 8-4 in the ACC. Duke won its sixth straight game, moving to 23-4 overall, 11-2 in the ACC while taking command of the league race.

“Our kids competed at a high level, but that’s not what we came here for,” Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “We came here to win a basketball game. Being competitive is not enough. We didn’t do enough things to win.

“We didn’t come here to play hard. We didn’t come here to be a team that played Duke closely. We came here to win a basketball game. That was our mindset. Now our mindset is to fix some things and get ready to play a very good Boston College team that’s coming off a win over North Carolina.”

Singler, Smith and Scheyer scored all but four of Duke’s points. Singler poured in a game-high 25 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including four 3-pointers, while Smith added 23 points and Scheyer finished with 15.

The Blue Devils won even though the Hokies held them to just 32.8 percent shooting from the floor. Duke offset that, though, by drilling 10 3-pointers, going 21-for-26 from the free-throw line, and hurting the Hokies on the boards, out-rebounding Tech 47-38 – with 23 of those 47 of the offensive variety.

Brian Zoubek, a 7-foot-1, 260-pound center, paced the Blue Devils on the boards, registering 16 – including eight offensive.

“He’s huge,” Greenberg said. “He’s a screener. He gets rebounds. He doesn’t move too far to get them, but he gets them.”

Still, the Hokies managed to hang around. They trailed by five at halftime and by seven with 16:20 left after a Scheyer basket. But Tech went on a 13-5 run and took a 45-44 lead on a long 3-pointer by Delaney with 9:51 remaining in the game.

On the ensuing possession, Smith drove to the basket, made it and got fouled by Jeff Allen. He made the free throw for a traditional three-point play and that started a 16-4 Duke run that did in the Hokies. Scheyer’s 3-pointer with 4:15 to go ended the run and gave Duke a 60-49 lead, and the Hokies got no closer than six the rest of the way.

Tech shot just 29 percent from the floor. Delaney paced the Hokies, but he hit 5 of 19 from the floor, including 2-for-9 from beyond the 3-point arc against one of the league’s best defenses. Dorenzo Hudson added 12 points, but went just 3-for-12 from the floor.

“We missed some shots,” Greenberg said. “We had Jeff [Allen] around the rim a couple of times. Malcolm had a pull-up one time … we just missed some shots. We missed some shots that I would take. I don’t mind Jeff attacking the basket and I sure don’t mind Malcolm shooting pull-ups. [But] I’m not sure defensively that there were a lot of ‘room- and-rhythm’ shots for anyone [either team] today.”

The Hokies head to Boston College next for a Wednesday night ACC tilt. Tip off for that game is slated for 7 p.m.

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

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