Despite a dominating game from Jeff Allen, Virginia Tech lost a narrow contest at Boston College on Saturday afternoon, falling 58-56 in the Conte Forum. The Hokies dropped to 15-7 overall and 5-4 in the ACC with the loss, while the Eagles improved to 15-8 overall and 5-4 in league play.
Jeff Allen dominated the paint all day, scoring 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting, and grabbing 19 rebounds. Allen set the Virginia Tech record for rebounds in an ACC game, beating Coleman Collins’ old mark of 18 rebounds against Duke. It was a big time game for the Tech senior, and the Eagles had no answer for him all game.
Despite Allen’s efforts, Tech didn’t get a great game from their backcourt. Erick Green and Malcolm Delaney failed to make a field goal in the first half, and Green finished the game 0-of-8 from the field, scoring just one point. Delaney got things on track in the second half, finishing with 19 points, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one with 24 seconds remaining on a trip to the line that could have tied the game.
Despite the free throw miss, Jeff Allen grabbed the offensive rebound, and Delaney had a chance for a basket underneath, but it was blocked by Joe Trapani. This time Terrell Bell came up with the offensive rebound, and the Hokies reset near midcourt.
Delaney found himself double teamed at the top of the circle, and he passed it over to Manny Atkins, who in turn threw it out to an open Erick Green on the left wing. Green had a good look at the basket, but like everything else he shot on Saturday, it was just off. Terrell Bell appeared to come up with the offensive rebound, but was whistled for a foul with 1.1 seconds remaining. Though BC missed the front end of their own one-and-one, the ball rolled harmlessly out of bounds, and the clock ran out.
It was a disappointing loss for the Hokies, who trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half because of their struggling backcourt. Despite the issues of Green and Delaney, Jeff Allen’s play kept them in the game. He had a double-double by halftime, and Tech trailed 27-24 heading into the break.
Malcolm Delaney played much better in the second half, and he and Allen were able to keep Tech in the game. The Hokies actually led twice in the second half, and things went down to the wire.
Delaney hit two huge jumper in the final 1:29, one from three-point range, that kept Tech within reach. BC led 58-56 with 56 seconds remaining, after Delaney’s second shot. The Eagles went inside to All-ACC guard Reggie Jackson, but his shot was blocked by Jeff Allen, and BC missed another attempt after an offensive rebound. The BC bench wanted a foul, but instead a foul was called on Eagle forward Corey Raji when Malcolm Delaney came down with the rebound.
Raji’s foul sent Delaney to the line for one-and-one, and set into motion the ending of the game, which was described above. The senior guard, who is a career 84.7% free throw shooter, missed the front end, and though Tech still had chances to win the game, they didn’t get it done.
The Hokies will take a week off and return to action next Sunday in Cassell Coliseum when they host Georgia Tech. Tip-off is scheduled for 1pm, and the game will be televised by The ACC Network.