Hokies Struggle Offensively Again, Fall to Purdue in Overtime

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Blacksburg, VA – Virginia Tech got subpar performances from starting guards Malcolm Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson and fell to #18 Purdue 58-55 in overtime in Cassell Coliseum on Monday night. Purdue improved to 6-1 with the win, while the Hokies dropped to 4-3.

After having one of the best shooting games of his career on Sunday night against UNLV, Malcolm Delaney had one of his worst against Purdue. The reigning ACC player of the week scored only nine points, and was just 2-of-18 from the field. He did not make a field goal in the second half, and was so off his game that he fell down and lost the basketball when the Hokies were trying to tie it up on their final possession of overtime.

Dorenzo Hudson had no points and one rebound in 36 minutes against UNLV, and he was unproductive against Purdue as well. Hudson scored just five points and had four turnovers, and he was not a threat with the ball in his hands on offense.

Virginia Tech got good games from Terrell Bell, Erick Green, Jeff Allen and Victor Davila, and that’s what kept them in the game. Bell limited Purdue’s leading scorer, E’Twaun Moore, who had just 14 points in 40 minutes of basketball. Bell also finished the game with a team-high 11 rebounds.

Jeff Allen led Tech with 14 points, and he also grabbed nine rebounds. Victor Davila had 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and had three blocked shots. Erick Green played 21 minutes with Hudson struggling and scored eight points while playing very well defensively.

The Hokies were just 34.5% from the field as a team and scored just 55 points in 45 minutes of basketball, despite only having 13 turnovers. Purdue wasn’t much better, shooting just 36.2%, but they did have the best player on the court in future first round NBA Draft pick JaJuan Johnson. He scored Purdue’s first nine points of the game, and finished with 29 points in 44 minutes.

Virginia Tech outrebounded Purdue 42-34. The Boilermakers are one of the best defensive basketball teams in the country and played great defensively against the Hokies, but ultimately Tech lost because their best player went 2-of-18 from the field and had a critical turnover on the final possession.

This was a tight game from start to finish, with neither team holding a lead greater than seven points. The Boilermakers led the entire first half, and went up by seven points after a JaJuan Johnson free throw to make the score 23-16 with 3:17 left. In a low scoring game like this that seems like a lot of points, but the Hokies answered with a three-pointer from Malcolm Delaney and a jumper by Jeff Allen to cut the lead to 23-21.

Purdue went into halftime with a 25-21 lead following one last jumper from JaJuan Johnson. From what we’ve seen so far this season, it was a typical Virginia Tech basketball game: low scoring and hard fought.

The officiating was tighter in the second half, though the offenses weren’t a lot better. The Hokies took their first lead 31-29 with 14:52 remaining in the game following a three-pointer from Erick Green, and the game went back and forth from that point until the final buzzer.

Virginia Tech seemed to be playing well at the right time towards the end of regulation. Victor Davila scored in the paint to give Tech a 50-46 lead with 2:34 remaining. However, he fouled out shortly thereafter while setting a screen on offense, and the Hokies gave up some serious height on the inside to the 6-10 JaJuan Johnson.

E’Twaun Moore hit a three-pointer with 1:34 left to bring the Boilermakers within one at 50-49, but Terrell Bell had a chance to put his team back up by three with 21 seconds remaining. However, Bell made just one of two free throws, and Purdue had a chance to tie the game by getting the ball inside to their best player. They succeeded. Johnson hit a turnaround hook with eight seconds left to tie the game at 51, and Malcolm Delaney’s fadeaway missed at the buzzer. That meant five minutes of free basketball in Cassell Coliseum.

Purdue quickly got up 53-51, but Erick Green hit a runner and was fouled on the play, and he connected on the free throw to put Tech up 54-53. The Boilermakers tied it with a free throw from Lewis Jackson, but Dorenzo Hudson was able to come right back and give Tech a 55-54 lead by going 1-of-2 from the line. That’s the last time Virginia Tech scored.

JaJuan Johnson hit a jumper with 1:27 left to give Purdue a 56-55 lead, and from there the Hokies started getting bad plays from their seniors. With 1:01 left, they got the ball inside to Jeff Allen, who promptly threw the ball away. Purdue went to the free throw line, and E’Twaun Moore hit 1-of-2 free throws to give his team a 57-55 lead.

The Hokies had one more chance, but Malcolm Delaney fell down about 19 feet from the basket. It appeared that he would have had a good look for the tie, but he stumbled, the ball rolled free, and an ensuing held ball possession went to Purdue. Moore knocked down one more free throw, and the Boilermakers won 58-55.

Virginia Tech returns to action on Sunday night when they host UVA. Tip-off is scheduled for 6pm, and the game will be televised by FSN. Check your local listings.

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