Coming off a tough loss to Temple, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team gutted out a 74-66 overtime win over Delaware in Philadelphia on Saturday night. Tech struggled offensively again, but improved to 4-1 overall on the young season. Delaware dropped to 1-4.
The Blue Hens entered the game having lost three games to Temple, Siena and Bucknell by an average of 23.3 points per game. They were able to hang with the Hokies because Tech was just 23-of-65 (35.4%) from the field, including 6-of-19 (31.9%) from three-point range. On the bright side, the Hokies were 22-of-31 (71%) from the free throw line.
Virginia Tech played well defensively, as Delaware was just 22-of-57 (38.6%) from the field and 4-of-18 (22.2%) from the three-point line. Tech also forced 12 turnovers, while committing just nine of their own. The Hokies aren’t scoring well this year, but they have turned the ball over just 53 times in five games.
Malcolm Delaney led the Hokies once again with 24 points. He was 6-of-15 from the field, 3-of-8 from three-point range and 9-of-12 from the free throw line. Delaney is playing very hard, despite suffering from ankle and hamstring injuries. He also dished out four assists and had just one turnover in 36 minutes of action.
Jeff Allen was the only other Hokie in double figures. Allen added 16 points and nine rebounds, to go along with four blocked shots. He fouled out late in the game, and overall it was his third consecutive game that he’s gotten into foul trouble.
Tech did get some solid contributions from some of their role players. Dorenzo Hudson scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting, and he also grabbed six rebounds and had three assists. Terrell Bell added eight points and seven rebounds, very efficient numbers in 19 minutes of playing time.
Looking for an offensive spark, Seth Greenberg played freshman wing Manny Atkins for extensive minutes for the first time this year. Atkins split time with Bell, playing 19 minutes. He scored five points and had two steals. One of his steals came late in regulation and led to a Malcolm Delaney jumper on a fastbreak with just over a minute remaining. Without that steal, the Hokies could have lost this game in regulation. Atkins also grabbed two offensive rebounds, and provided the Hokies with a solid spark off the bench.
Virginia Tech controlled this game from start to finish, but they could never shake the pesky Blue Hens. Delaware never led until two free throws from star point guard Jawan Carter made the score 58-57 with 2:17 left in regulation.
It was Manny Atkins who provided the big plays to force overtime down the stretch. First he hit a jumper to make the score 59-58 Hokies with exactly two minutes remaining, and later he got a steal which led to the Delaney jumper on the fastbreak. Jawan Carter forced overtime with a basket with 17 seconds left, but Atkins gave the Hokies a chance to win the game.
The score at the end of regulation was 63-63, but it was all Virginia Tech in the extra period. The Hokies outscored the Blue Hens 11-3 in the final five minutes. Malcolm Delaney scored the first five points, and his big three-pointer put the Hokies up 68-63 with 4:09 remaining.
Tech led 70-66 following a free throw by Jawan Carter with 2:25 left, but Delaware didn’t score in the remainder of the contest, and the Hokies went on to win 74-66.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Iowa as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Tip-off is at 9:30pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.