March 11, 2011
Hokies top Georgia Tech in first round of ACC Tournament
By Jimmy Robertson
Georgia Tech (13-18, 5-11) 192443
Virginia Tech (20-10, 9-7) 362359
  • Greenboro Coliseum, Game #4 - 23,381
  • High Points: 15 - Malcolm Delaney
  • High Rebounds: 11 - Jeff Allen

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Virginia Tech opened the game with a 15-2 run and never looked back, cruising to a 59-43 victory over Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.

With the victory, the Hokies, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, advanced to the tournament semifinals, where they will meet third seed Florida State.

Virginia Tech, coming off back-to-back losses for the first time this season, won its first ACC Tournament game at the Greensboro Coliseum (three tries) and moved to 20-10 overall on the season. Perhaps more importantly, the Hokies got another victory toward their quest of making the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re trying win a championship right now,” Tech guard Malcolm Delaney said. “The [NCAA] tournament will speak for itself. We haven’t won the ACC Tournament championship. We’re just trying to get there.

“The last two games, we weren’t having a lot of fun. When we’re playing good defense and getting out in transition, that’s when we play fun. We just had to get back to doing that.”

The Yellow Jackets, who scored the fewest points in a tournament game since 1998 when Virginia scored 41 in a loss to Duke, finished their season with a 13-18 mark.

The Hokies scored the first eight points of the game and 15 of the first 17, as Georgia Tech missed 10 of its first 11 shots from the floor. Malcolm Delaney scored seven of the Hokies’ 15, and his basket with 14:05 remaining in the half gave Virginia Tech a 15-2 lead.

“It was really important for us to get off to a good start,” Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “It was important to make shots because the last two games, we struggled early. It was important for us to see a big basket and to attack in transition and be aggressive. That was really important for us.”

The Hokies expanded that lead to 19 points, 30-11, on Ty Garland’s three-point play with 7:41 left. Georgia Tech went on an 8-0 run after that to cut the lead to 30-19, but Virginia Tech scored the last six points of the half to take a 17-point lead at the break.

Virginia Tech dominated the first half, shooting 50 percent from the floor and out-rebounding Georgia Tech 20-15. The Yellow Jackets shot just 23 percent in the first 30 minutes.

In the second half, Georgia Tech got no closer than 15. The Hokies opened up their largest lead at 55-31 on a lay-up by Jeff Allen with 8:24 remaining.

Delaney paced the Hokies with a game-high 15 points, hitting 4 of 7 from the floor, including 2 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc. Allen recorded his 16th double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds despite playing with a sore ankle that he injured in the Clemson game and then tweaked in the second half against the Yellow Jackets.

“It didn’t limit me at all,” Allen said of the injury. “I hurt it a little bit during the game, but the medicine kicked in and I was fine.”

Erick Green added 11 points for the Hokies. Glen Rice, Jr., led Georgia Tech with 14 points off the bench, while Iman Shumpert scored 12.

The Hokies shot 46.8 percent from the floor for the game. In contrast, Georgia Tech shot just 32.1 percent – the third-worst shooting performance by a Virginia Tech opponent this season (Mount St. Mary’s, Oklahoma State).

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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