Blacksburg, VA – Virginia Tech turned a close halftime score into a rout in a 98-73 victory over VMI in Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night. The most impressive part of Tech’s victory is that they scored 98 points, with Malcolm Delaney scoring just nine of them. The Hokies are now 7-1 on the season, while VMI dropped to 4-4. Tech now looks forward to a huge Saturday night prime time game at Penn State.
After playing well in Sunday’s win over Georgia, Delaney had another tough shooting night against VMI. He was just 3-of-14 from the field, and he missed numerous point blank looks at the basket.
Dorenzo Hudson was there to pick up the slack. VMI uses a fullcourt press, so there are chances to get fastbreak points. Hudson did exactly that, constantly beating VMI defenders to the goal. He finished with a career-high 24 points, and he also had seven rebounds, with all seven coming on the offensive end.
Offensive rebounding paid off for the Hokies against a very small VMI team. Tech outrebounded the Keydets 59-36, and they grabbed 27 offensive rebounds. The Hokies scored 23 second chance points and 68 points in the paint.
The Hokies dominated the smaller Keydets on the inside. Jeff Allen scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds, and he was 10-of-13 from the field. Victor Davila added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
VMI came into this game allowing just over 98 points per game, and that’s exactly what the Hokies got. Walk-on guard Paul Debnam scored on a breakaway dunk with 3.5 seconds remaining to end the scoring, and the Tech crowd and bench rose to their feet in excitement. All 12 Tech players who made on the court scored at least one point.
The Hokies also used their length to play great defense. Tech blocked 15 shots, which tied a school record previously set against Coastal Carolina during the 1993-94 season. Terrell Bell paced Tech with four blocks. He also scored seven points and had eight rebounds, another solid overall effort from the junior wing.
Virginia Tech showed good patience and intelligence on offense. Because of VMI’s small size, the Hokies were able to go inside with authority. The Hokies attempted a whopping 84 shots in this game, and only eight of them were three-point attempts. Tech entered the game third in the ACC in free throw shooting, and they were a very solid 21-of-28 (75%) on Wednesday night.
VMI was able to jump out to a quick 7-6 lead, but it didn’t take long for the Hokies to establish their dominance. A layup by Victor Davila on a fastbreak put the Hokies up 8-7 a little over five minutes into the game, and they never relinquished that lead. Davila’s layup began a 12-0 run by Tech, and they led 18-7 with 11:09 left in the first half. It was an impressive defensive effort against a team that averages nearly 100 points per game.
Tech led by as many as 16 points in the first half when a Dorenzo Hudson layup made the score 26-10. However, the Keydets were able to come back and whittle the lead to just 41-37. The Hokies scored the last three points of the half and took a 44-37 lead into the intermission.
Virginia Tech began the second half on a 10-0 run, with eight of the points being scored in the paint and the other two from the free throw line. That put the Hokies up 54-37 with 18:12 left in the game.
It was all but over at that point. VMI never managed to cut the lead to single digits, and the Hokies were able to walk away with the win. The Keydets didn’t score in the final two minutes of the game, and Tech went on one last 7-0 run that created the final 25 point margin of victory.
The Hokies return to action on Saturday night for a huge non-conference game with Penn State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.