Hokies Ground Eagles, Take Over Fourth Place

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After a slow first half from both teams, Virginia Tech literally ran away with the game in the second half by using their athleticism in a 67-48 rout of Boston College that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The win moved the Hokies to 17-11 overall and 8-6 in the ACC, and they now stand all alone at fourth place in the conference. BC dropped to 13-13, and 4-9 in conference play.

Virginia Tech had balanced scoring across the board. Jeff Allen had 13 points and 10 rebounds, recording his second double-double in the last three games. J.T. Thompson, still playing on a sore ankle, had 13 points and five rebounds in just 18 minutes. Thompson abused the slow BC frontcourt on the fast break, despite his bad wheel.

A.D. Vassallo is Tech’s leading scorer, but the Eagles held him scoreless in the first half. Vassallo rebounded in the second half to finish with 12 points. Deron Washington also added 10 points for the Hokies.

Once again, Lewis Witcher gave Tech great minutes. In his third straight game in the starting lineup, Witcher scored six points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked four shots. Freshman point guard Hank Thorns did not score, but he dished out seven assists in 16 minutes of action.

The domination by Tech’s frontcourt was the story of this game. Jeff Allen, J.T. Thompson, Lewis Witcher and Cheick Diakite combined for 36 points and 25 rebounds. BC’s frontcourt of Tyrelle Blair, Shamari Spears, Josh Southern and John Oates combined for just 13 points and 15 rebounds.

The Hokies outrebounded Boston College 50-33 and outscored them 34-24 in the paint, 19-6 in fast break points and 20-8 in points off turnovers. Tech led by just five at halftime, but used their superior athleticism to dominate the Eagles in the open court in the second half.

Hank Thorns and Malcolm Delaney did a tremendous job defensively on All-ACC point guard Tyrese Rice. Rice averages 20.6 points per game, but had just 15 on Tuesday, and some of those were cheap baskets near the end of the blowout. He was just 6-of-16 from the field, 1-of-5 from three-point range, and he also had no assists and four turnovers.

The first half of this game was not exactly a clinic in offensive basketball. The Hokies turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, and couldn’t get much going in the half court. Luckily BC was pretty bad as well, and no one even scored for either team until Deron Washington hit a free throw at the 16:27 mark. The first field goal didn’t come until Malcolm Delaney scored on a fast break layup with 15:52 left in the first half.

BC led on a couple of occasions in the first half, but a layup by Jeff Allen gave Tech an 11-10 lead with 8:36 remaining. That ended the Eagles’ last lead of the game, although they managed to tie it twice more during the half.

In the end, it was the Hokies ending the half on a good note. J.T. Thompson scored Tech’s final six points of the half, and the home team went into the locker room at halftime with a 25-20 lead.

The second half was all Hokies. The lead was still at five, 30-25, with 18:29 left in the game. That’s when Tech took over. Jeff Allen hit a layup that started a 14-0 Virginia Tech run. A Deron Washington slam on the fast break gave the Hokies a 44-25 lead 14:50 in the game, and the outcome was never in doubt after that point.

The Hokies eventually ran their lead up to 26 points, with Jeff Allen scoring in the lane with 3:27 left to make the score 64-38. At that point Seth Greenberg began to put his reserves in the game, and the Eagles outscored Tech’s backups 10-3 down the stretch, making the final margin a bit more respectable.

Virginia Tech will take the rest of the week off, and then return to action next Tuesday night in Cassell Coliseum against Wake Forest. It will be Senior Night for Deron Washington and Marcus Travis. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will be televised by Regional SportsNet (Likely Comcast, Fox SportsNet, etc.). Check your local listings.

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