The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team defeated UNC Greensboro 92-70 in the Greensboro Coliseum on Sunday, improving to 2-1 on the year. The Spartans dropped to 0-3. The Hokies dominated offensively, while their defensive performance was mixed.
Tech shot 29-of-54 (53.7%) from the field and 30-of-41 (73.2%) from the free throw line. Malcolm Delaney led the team with 23 points, and he was 8-of-12 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Jeff Allen scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Dorenzo Hudson finished with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Erick Green also added 10 points for Tech, while Manny Atkins and Ben Boggs came off the bench to score seven and five points apiece.
Defensively, UNC Greensboro shot 23-of-41 (56.1%) from the field and 60% from three-point range, alarmingly high numbers. However, they also had 29 turnovers, many of which were forced by a pressuring Tech defense. The Hokies had a total of 20 steals on Sunday, including five by Erick Green.
Turnovers by the Spartans were the key to the game. The Hokies scored a total of 37 points off turnovers. UNC Greensboro has players who can score, but they are playing many freshmen and junior college transfers, and their offensive operation isn’t particularly efficient at this point in the season.
Besides UNC Greensboro’s high shooting percentage, one other area for concern is Malcolm Delaney’s turnovers. He had nine turnovers on Sunday, and he also turned it over nine times last Tuesday against Kansas State.
The Hokies closed this game strong in the first half, but they started out slowly. UNC Greensboro jumped out to a 6-1 lead, and then led 9-3 following a three-pointer by starting point guard Kyle Randall. Tech was missing their open shots and they weren’t forcing turnovers at this point in the game.
The Spartans took their biggest lead at 12-5, but the Hokies followed that up with a 9-0 run that gave them their first lead, 14-12, with 11:57 left in the first half. UNC Greensboro never led again as VT slowly pulled away.
Tech’s biggest run of the half began with 6:29 remaining. Malcolm Delaney hit a jumper in the paint to give the Hokies a 26-20 lead. By the 3:35 mark of the first half, it was 37-22. That’s a 13-2 run in just under three minutes. UNC Greensboro managed to cut the lead to 43-32 at halftime, but they never had a realistic shot of winning the game in the second half.
The Spartans never cut the lead to single digits in the second half. The Hokies led by 20 at the 8:28 mark when Erick Green threw down a dunk on a fast break, and they held their largest lead of the game at 4:32 mark when Dorenzo Hudson sank a jumper to make the score 82-56. The Hokies went on to coast to an easy 22 point win from there.
Virginia Tech returns to action this Thursday at 2pm when they take on Cal State Northridge in the first round of the 76 Classic in Anaheim. The game will be televised by ESPNU. The Hokies will face either DePaul or Oklahoma State in the second round, and that will be on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. We will have a full preview of the tournament later in the week.