March 20, 2011
Tech falls to Wichita State in second round of NIT
By Jimmy Robertson
Wichita State (26-8) 30391079
Virginia Tech (22-12) 3237776
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 4,382
  • High Points: 30 - Malcolm Delaney
  • High Rebounds: 7 - Jeff Allen

BLACKSBURG – Malcolm Delaney scored a game-high 30 points, but Wichita State’s Joe Ragland hit a short shot with 2.6 seconds left in overtime to lift the Shockers to a 79-76 victory over the Hokies in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.

With the loss, the Hokies finished their season with a 22-12 record. It also marked the final game for Tech’s seniors, including the trio of Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen and Terrell Bell. This senior class will leave tied with the 1985-86 senior class for the most wins (87) in school history by a class.

“It’s tough to go out with a loss like this,” Delaney said. “But we played our hardest. I can’t be mad about how we did. It’s better to leave Cassell like this than the way we did senior night [against BC].

“I’m encouraged by how much the program has changed since we got here, and I tried to show Erick [Green] what I could on how to lead a team. I’m passing the torch to him. With the older guys coming back, I’m sure they’ll have some good leadership. They can do a lot better than what we did this year.”

“They’re not going to be defined by not making the NCAA Tournament,” Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “Malcolm Delaney and those guys are going to be defined by … those guys won a lot of games. You can have all the cynics you want and all the people are going to take swipes at you and say you need to do this with your schedule … that’s all BS.

“These kids played their tails off for four years. Anyone who doesn’t think they haven’t accomplished a great deal, that’s their problem, not these kids’ problems. We’re not going to be defined by a group of 10 people in a room [the NCAA selection committee]. They’re going to be defined by what they did for every single day for four years and that’s win a lot of games.”

Ragland’s shot came after the Hokies’ Bell had made a layup to tie the game at 76 with nine seconds remaining. Ragland raced up the court, and Wichita State Gregg Marshall decided against calling a timeout to set up a play. It worked as Ragland got into the lane to hit the game-winning shot.

“I didn’t want to foul him,” Tech’s Erick Green said. “I should have stayed in front of him. He made a little move, and I didn’t want to foul. Hands down, I should have stayed in front of the ball and we wouldn’t have had a problem.”

Tech called a timeout following Ragland’s shot, but Touré Murry forced Delaney to step out of bounds with a second left, and the Hokies never had a chance to tie the game. Tech then fouled Murry with 0.9 seconds remaining, and Murry made one of two free-throw attempts before rebounding his own miss to run out the clock.

The Shockers had a chance to win in regulation. Wichita State’s J.T. Turley hit a 3-pointer with 47 seconds left in regulation that tied the game at 69. Bell then missed a 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining, giving the Shockers one last opportunity to win the game. But Ragland’s off-balance shot at the buzzer was a little too strong.

“We had our chances,” Greenberg said. “We wish we had two defensive plays back – the 3 by [J.T.] Durley [with 47 seconds left in regulation] and then not stopping the ball at the end. We needed to get two stops, and we didn’t get two stops. You’ve got to give them credit.”

Murry led a balanced Wichita State attack with 15 points. Graham Hatch added 14 as five Shockers finished in double figures.

Delaney paced the Hokies with a game-high 30 points. It marked his ninth game of 30 points or more in his career and will go down as his postseason high.

Green added 17 points for the Hokies, while Allen had 10 before fouling out with 6:12 remaining in regulation.

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

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