January 30, 2011
Hokies hold on to defeat Miami
By Jimmy Robertson
Miami (12-9, 1-6) 303868
Virginia Tech (14-6, 4-3) 403272
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,847
  • High Points: 18 - Jeff Allen
  • High Rebounds: 11 - Jeff Allen

BLACKSBURG – Erick Green scored five of his 15 points in the final 2:32 and Malcolm Delaney hit a clutch 3-pointer in the final two minutes, as the Hokies held on to beat Miami 72-68 in an ACC game Sunday night at Cassell Coliseum.

With the win, Tech moved to 14-6 overall on the season, 4-3 in the ACC. Miami, which has lost four straight games by a combined 11 points, fell to 12-9, 1-6 in the league.

“That’s a really good win,” Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “That’s [Miami] a really good basketball team. They’re 11 or 12 points away from being in first place in the league.”

Tech led the entire second half, but couldn’t put the ’Canes away until the waning moments. Garrius Adams’ 3-pointer with 2:53 got Miami to within a point, 62-61, but Green answered for Tech. His 3-point play with 2:32 to go built the lead to 65-61.

Durand Scott’s basket with 2:21 remaining cut the lead to 65-63. But Tech again had an answer, as Delaney nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:58 left that pushed Tech’s lead to 68-63. That turned out to be Delaney’s only basket in the second half.

“I’ve been shooting all week, and I’m still confident,” Delaney said in response to bouncing back from an eight-point, eight-turnover performance in Tech’s loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday night. “No matter what type of game I have … I know every player has bad games … but I’m still going to be confident. I’m still the same player I’ve always been.”

Scott’s two free throws with 1:47 left trimmed Tech’s lead to 68-65. But Green hit two free throws with 1:37 left to push the margin back to five.

Adams’ 3-pointer with 1:26 left shaved the lead to two, and Miami actually had a chance to tie or take the lead after Delaney missed a jumper on the Hokies’ next possession. But the ’Canes’ Adrian Thomas missed two 3-pointers with less than 50 seconds remaining, and Green grabbed the rebound for Tech after the second one.

A Delaney free throw pushed the Hokies’ lead to 71-68 with 16 seconds left. Miami tried to tie it, as Adams launched a 3-pointer that came up just short with three seconds to go, and Tech’s Terrell Bell grabbed the rebound. He made 1 of 2 free throws with under a second left to account for the final margin.

“That’s this league,” Delaney said. “There aren’t a lot games that are going to be blowouts. There have been a few, but for the most part, our league is going to come down to the last minute of the game.”

Jeff Allen enabled Tech to keep the lead throughout the second half, scoring 10 of his team-high 18 points in the final 20 minutes. Allen, who made 7 of 12 from the floor, finished with 11 rebounds, notching his ninth double-double of the season and the 37th of his career.

Allen needs just two points to reach the 1,500-point plateau for his career.

“They [Miami] knocked us out of the [ACC] tournament last year, and they beat us at their place,” Allen said. “We were going to come out and play strong. I saw chances to take advantage of some opportunities and that’s what I did. The whole team made good passes and good shots.”

Green hit 5 of 12 from the floor and all four of his free-throw attempts to finish with 15 points. He also dished out six assists. Delaney scored 14 points and dished out four assists.

Scott paced the ’Canes with a game-high 21 points, hitting 7 of 13 from the floor. Malcolm Grant added 14 points and Adams chipped in with 11. Both Grant and Adams hit three 3-pointers apiece.

The Hokies hit the road for their next game, traveling to Raleigh, N.C., for a Wednesday contest against N.C. State. Tip-off for the game is slated for 7 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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