Virginia Tech’s two-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday when the Hokies fell to Maryland 83-73 in the Comcast Center. The Terps led from start to finish, and the win improves their record to 16-8 overall and 5-5 in ACC play. Tech drops to 16-8 overall and 6-4 in the ACC with the loss.
Maryland came into this game averaging just 68.6 points per game in ACC play, and shooting just 40% from the field. Against the Hokies, they were 26-of-54 (48.1%), including 7-of-18 (38.9%) from three-point range. The Terps hit four of their first eight three-pointers. In their first nine conference games, Maryland hit just 26.9% of their outside shots, which was last in the ACC.
Maryland was 24-of-26 from the free throw line, while Virginia Tech was just 13-of-21. A.D. Vassallo scored 20 points for Tech, but the Hokies didn’t get much production from their other stars. Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen combined for just four points in the first half, as the Hokies got off to a poor start. Allen finished with eight points and nine rebounds before fouling out.
Delaney finished with 16 points, extending his double-figures scoring streak to 29 straight games. However, eight of his points came in the final three minutes with the game all but decided.
Lewis Witcher came off the bench to score eight first-half points, while Terrell Bell added seven points and six rebounds in just 11 minutes. However, Tech started the game poorly against a Maryland team that had a full week to prepare, and though they cut the lead to three-points in the second half, they could never get over the hump.
Tech had trouble stopping Maryland from the opening tip. Adrian Bowie went down the lane for a layup just seven seconds into game, setting the stage for the Terps’ third-best scoring output in ACC play this year. Maryland had scored just 57 points in their previous game against Georgia Tech.
Maryland led by as many as eight points in the first half, but could never quite pull away. Two free throws by A.D. Vassallo just before halftime made the score 34-29 heading into the break. Things looked good for Tech at that point. They were squarely in the game, and Malcolm Delaney had just four points at halftime, while Jeff Allen was scoreless.
Delaney and Allen combined for 19 points in the second half, but the Hokies allowed 49 points over the final 20 minutes. 22 of Maryland’s second half points came from the free throw line, as Tech had trouble keeping the Terps out of the lane.
With 7:24 remaining in the game, Hank Thorns hit a big three-pointer that made the score 58-52 Maryland. The Hokies were still in the game, despite playing poorly. However, the Terps scored 25 points over the final 7:08 of the game. 21 of those 25 points came at the free throw line. With Maryland converting at the line at such a high percentage, Tech had no hope to come back.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Charlottesville to take on struggling UVA. Tip-off is scheduled for 8pm, and the game will be televised by Raycom. Check your local listings.