Hokies Smash Hofstra, Set Date with St. John’s

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Bad starts could be considered the reason for several Virginia Tech losses so far this season. That wasn’t the case on Friday night, as the Hokies blew the doors off Madison Square Garden from the opening tip, routing Hofstra 84-59 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Tech improved to 7-5 with the win, and they’ll take on St. John’s in the championship game of the Aeropostale Holiday Festival on Saturday at 3:30.

Three Hokies scored in double figures, all finishing with 17 points. Deron Washington was 4-of-6 from the field, 1-of-2 from three-point range and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. Over the last two games, Washington is 19-of-22 from the charity stripe. As a team however, Tech didn’t fare as well from the free throw line this time out. They were 24-of-37 for 64.9%.

A.D. Vassallo also added 17 points for the Hokies. He was 6-of-10 from the field, 3-of-5 from three-point range and 2-of-3 from the free throw line. Freshman forward Jeff Allen added 17 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing his sixth double-double of the season.

Freshman guard Malcolm Delaney got the first start of his college career, and he responded positively. He finished with nine points and dished out a career-high six assists while committing just two turnovers. He also had two steals, which he turned into breakaway scores. Delaney added two blocked shots and two rebounds.

Another freshman guard, Dorenzo Hudson, came off the bench to score nine points on 4-of-7 shooting. He had a team-high three steals, as well as two assists in 19 minutes of action. Freshman forward J.T. Thompson had four points and five rebounds, while freshman forward Terrell Bell added five points.

As a team, the Hokies shot 56.3% from the field and 37.5% from three-point range. They hit 27 field goals during the game, 20 of which came off assists, which is a season-high. Their 84 points scored is also a season high. Going back to last season’s 80-61 win over Seton Hall, Tech is averaging 82 points per game in their last two games in Madison Square Garden.

Virginia Tech forced 18 turnovers while holding Hofstra to just 34.3% from the field, including 1-of-10 from three-point range. The Hokies jumped out to an early 19-4 lead and never looked back. Hofstra never led, and Tech led by as many as 33 points in the second half before brining in their walk-ons. That allowed the Pride to score the last eight points of the game after trailing 84-51.

Tomorrow’s matchup will be a battle of youthful teams. Virginia Tech plays six freshmen in their 10-man rotation, and St. John’s uses seven. Like the Hokies, the Red Storm have just one senior, point guard Eugene Lawrence. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 on Saturday, or at the conclusion of the consolation game between Hofstra and Marist. Once again, the game will be televised by MSG TV.

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