December 5, 2010
Hokies stumble 57-54 to rival UVa
By Jimmy Robertson
12F
Virginia (5-3, 1-0) 362157
Virginia Tech (4-4, 0-1) 243054
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,847
  • High Points: 26 - Malcolm Delaney
  • High Rebounds: 9 - Jeff Allen

BLACKSBURG – Malcolm Delaney scored 26 points, but a slow start to the game hobbled the Hokies and they ended up falling to in-state rival Virginia 57-54 in the ACC opener for both teams at Cassell Coliseum on Sunday night.

The loss marked Tech’s third straight and dropped the Hokies to 4-4 overall on the season. Virginia moved to 5-3 overall.

“I’m not worried,” Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “The second half, I thought we did some good things. We’ve got to get more people contributing. That’s the biggest thing.

“I know it doesn’t make for good copy, but the last time I checked, we’ve got 23 games left. We can win 18 of them, and all of the sudden, life would be great. But we’re not going to win any of them if we don’t block out on the free-throw line. We’re not going to win any of them if we don’t come up with a 50-50 ball. And we’re not going to win any of them unless we play with a sense of urgency all the time. We have a small margin of error. We didn’t have a sense of urgency in the first 20 minutes.”

Tech never led in this one, trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half after Virginia shot 55.6 percent from the floor. The Hokies closed the lead to two points twice in the final 2:30 of the game, once when a Dorenzo Hudson 3-pointer made it 51-49 with 2:25 remaining and once when Victor Davila scored with 19.4 seconds to go to make it 53-51.

Virginia called a timeout after Davila’s basket to set up an inbounds play, and the Cavaliers got Mike Scott running free down the length of the court. Tech’s Jeff Allen intentionally fouled Scott with 18 seconds left, and Scott hit both free throws to give Virginia a 55-51 bulge. Virginia got to keep the ball as a result of the intentional foul, and Tech fouled Mustapha Farrakhan, who made two free throws with 16 seconds remaining to increase the Cavalier lead to 57-51.

“We were supposed to be switching that,” Greenberg said of UVa’s inbounds play. “The center fielder was supposed to take it and there was a miscommunication."

Delaney drilled a 3-pointer with 11 seconds to go to cut the lead to 57-54. Virginia then proceeded to miss the front ends of two one-and-ones – Joe Harris missed the first, but Scott got the rebound and then he missed one – giving the Hokies the ball with a chance to tie. But Joe Harris got a piece of Hudson’s 3-point attempt with two seconds left and Jontel Evans got the rebound for the Cavaliers. He ran out the clock to preserve the game.

Delaney, coming off a Purdue game in which he scored nine points and hit just 2-of-18 from the floor, canned 10-of-15 against the Cavaliers, including 4-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Jeff Allen added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Hokies, who held Virginia to just 21 points and 36.4 percent shooting in the second half. The Cavaliers, behind that big first half, shot 46.9 percent for the game.

“There was no way we should have started the game off like that,” Delaney said. “That was horrible. We didn’t play good defensively and offensively, we didn’t do anything. I don’t mind playing bad on the offensive end, but when we don’t stop teams, that’s when I get pretty upset.”

Virginia got a huge game from Scott, who scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Harris finished with 10 points.

The Hokies return to non-conference action when they take on Penn State next Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum. Tip-off is slated for 1 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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