Virginia Tech came out strong and put a beating on Bethune-Cookman, winning 79-54 in Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday night. The Hokies are now 22-11 on the season, and they’ll host #4 seed Wichita State on Sunday morning at 11am in the second round of the NIT.
Jeff Allen paced Tech with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals in 27 minutes of action. Malcolm Delaney had 13, while Eric Green added 11 points and eight assists. Terrell Bell finished with 11 points, while Manny Atkins chipped in with 12 points off the bench.
Tyrone Garland played 23 minutes and scored seven points, and even walk-on guard Paul Debnam saw extensive playing time, with five points and three rebounds in 12 minutes. Debnam entered the game in the first half when Tech’s lead was still at 10 points, and saw solid minutes in a real game for the first time in his career.
Starting center Victor Davila played just 13 minutes, all in the first half. Seth Greenberg revealed earlier in the week that Davila is suffering from an injury, and that could have something to do with why he didn’t play in the second half on Wednesday night. Davila finished with just two points and one rebound.
The Hokies out-rebounded the Wildcats 31-25 and shot 55.9% from the field. Despite the disappointment of not making the NCAA Tournament, Virginia Tech came out focused and sharp from the opening tip. This was never a game, as the Hokies went into halftime with a 42-24 lead, and led by as many as 32 points in the second half.
Virginia Tech turned the ball over just six times, and had 21 assists on 33 made field goals.
The Hokies did what they had to do on Wednesday night, soundly beating a team with inferior talent from a small conference. The competition will improve quite a bit on Sunday. Wichita State is a solid mid-major program that blew out #5 seed Nebraska 76-49 on Wednesday.
Tip-off for Sunday’s game will be at 11am, and it will be televised by ESPN.