Virginia Tech defeated Miami 72-68 in an important ACC game in Cassell Coliseum on Sunday evening. The Hokies are now 14-6 overall, and 4-3 in the ACC. Miami dropped to 12-9 overall, with a 1-6 mark in ACC play. The Canes have now lost their last four games by a total of 11 points.
The Tech backcourt played poorly in last week’s loss at Georgia Tech, but they were much better on Sunday. Erick Green had 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting, while hitting all four of his free throws and dishing out six assists. Malcolm Delaney added 14 points and four assists while playing all 40 minutes. Green and Delaney combined to commit just two turnovers. Freshman point guard Ty Garland also came off the bench to hit two key three-pointers.
Jeff Allen led the Hokies with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He stayed out of foul trouble despite the Hokies playing man to man defense for most of the game. Victor Davila did an excellent job on Miami big man Reggie Johnson. Johnson entered the game averaging a double-double, but had just six points and 10 rebounds against Tech. He only attempted five shots, and Davila did a great job keeping the ball out of his hands.
Miami out-rebounded the Hokies 30-25, but Tech had 13 assists and just eight turnovers. Tech shot 51.1% from the field and 47.1% from three-point range.
The Hokies led this game by 10 points, turning what was a close game early into a comfortable halftime lead. Tech led just 27-26 with 4:52 remaining in the first half, but a jumper by Victor Davila started a 13-4 run to end the half. Ty Garland banked in back-to-back three-pointers during the run, and Tech scored the final five points of the half to take the 40-30 lead into the intermission.
The two three-pointers by Garland were critical, because Erick Green picked up his second foul with 4:52 left in the half. Without their point guard on the court, the Hokies were still able to close the half on a big run.
Miami spent most of the second half chipping away at the Tech lead. The Hokies were able to keep them at arm’s length for most of the half, but the Canes were able to cut it to 62-61 following a Garrius Adams three-pointer with 2:56 remaining. However, Erick Green answered with a jumper from the left elbow, and was fouled while shooting. The free throw pushed the lead back to four points.
Miami answered with a jumper from Durand Scott, but Malcolm Delaney followed it up with a big three-pointer to make the score 68-63 with just 1:59 remaining.
The Canes had one final run left in them. Trailing 70-65, Garrius Adams nailed another outside jumper to cut the lead to two points, and Malcolm Delaney’s next shot was off the mark. Miami forward Adrian Thomas found himself wide open for a three-pointer with 43 second left, but he missed. Reggie Johnson grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it back out to a wide open Thomas for another three-point attempt, but the usually reliable senior was off the mark yet again. Malcolm Delaney grabbed the rebound and he was fouled.
Delaney converted just one of two free throws, which gave the ball back to Miami for a final shot. However, a three-pointer from Adams from the left wing was no good. Terrell Bell was fouled, and made one of two free throws to close out the game, giving the Hokies a big 72-68 win.