Virginia Tech was without Dorenzo Hudson against Penn State, but they got strong contributions from Erick Green and Ty Garland in a 79-69 win. The Hokies controlled the game from start to finish, and they are now 5-4 on the season. Penn State dropped to 7-3 with the loss.
Hudson sat this game out with an injury, and Erick Green started in his place. Green scored 14 points, and had two assists and no turnovers in 27 minutes of action. He was 6-of-11 from the field and 2-of-5 from three-point range.
Ty Garland, a freshman point guard from Philadelphia, also saw extensive action. He scored nine points and had one assist in 12 minutes, while committing no turnovers.
Malcolm Delaney scored 18 points for the Hokies, and his good shooting continued. He was 6-of-9 from the field and 5-of-7 from three-point range. Delaney also dished out eight assists and had a steal in 39 minutes of action.
Tech had two ball handlers on the court at all times, and their ball movement was much improved against Penn State’s zone defense. They were also much improved in transition offense. The Hokies played with better spacing, and Jeff Allen was able to show off his passing ability, finishing with six assists. Allen also had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Terrell Bell added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Tech, and he was 6-of-12 from the field in 36 minutes.
After failing to score 60 points in their previous four games, the Hokies already had 44 at halftime on Saturday. They had just 10 turnovers for the game, and their 20 assists as a team showed that their ball movement was much better.
Better ball movement created better shots, which created a better shooting percentage. Tech shot 62% in the first half, and finished the game 30-of-55 (54.5%) from the field. They were also 7-of-15 (46.7%) from three-point range.
Penn State was led by their one-man show Talor Battle, who finished with 26 points. He had 32 points against the Hokies in last year’s game.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, and later led 14-12 on a three-pointer by Billy Oliver at the 12:28 mark of the first half. However, the Hokies gradually took control of the game over the remainder of the half.
Tech scored six points in less than 40 seconds and began to pull away. First Jeff Allen hit a layup underneath, and that was followed by a steal by Malcolm Delaney that ended in another Jeff Allen layup on the fastbreak. Penn State responded by turning the ball over again, and this time it was Erick Green who finished in transition to put the Hokies up 18-14 at the 11:38 mark of the first half.
The Hokies slowly extended their lead throughout the rest of the half, and got a big boost heading into the intermission when Malcolm Delaney nailed a step-back, fadeaway three-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 44-33 lead.
Penn State made a slight run to open the second half, cutting the lead to 44-41 with 16:15 remaining. However, a three-pointer by Erick Green got the Hokies on the board for the first time in the second half, and after a layup by Terrell Bell and a three-pointer from Delaney, Tech’s lead was back to 11 points at 52-41.
The closest Penn State could get was eight points for the remainder of the game. Tech led by as many as 15 points, 72-57, following two free throws from Manny Atkins with 2:42 remaining. At that point, it was just a matter of running out the clock.
The Hokies will take a lot of time off this week before they head to the Bahamas to take on Mississippi State on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 8pm, and as of now the game will not be televised.