Virginia Tech and Elon were locked in a battle for most of the night, but the Hokies hit their free throws down the stretch to pull away to a 76-67 win in Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday. Tech is now 4-2 on the season, and they await a visit from Big Ten power Wisconsin on Monday night.
The Hokies put four players in double figures against Elon. A.D. Vassallo scored 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He also had five rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes. Jeff Allen was just 3-of-12 from the field and played much of the game in foul trouble, but he did finish with 12 points and nine rebounds in 29 minutes. He also chipped in with four assists and four steals.
Malcolm Delaney finished with 15 points and went a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line. Delaney sank all 12 of his free throws in the final 2:12 of the game to help seal the win. For the season, Delaney is now 45-of-54 from the free throw line, good for 83.3%.
The Hokies finally got some help from someone other than Allen, Delaney and Vassallo against Elon. Freshman forward Victor Davila came off the bench to score 16 points and grab four rebounds. Davila was 7-of-9 from the field and scored 12 of his points in the second half. He and Delaney basically carried the team down the stretch.
Tech still isn’t getting much production from their roleplayers in the backcourt. Hank Thorns, Terrell Bell and Dorenzo Hudson combined for just seven points on 2-of-8 shooting.
The Hokies outrebounded the Phoenix 42-27. Tech struggled in this game for many of the same reasons they have struggled in all of their games. Unlike past Hokie teams under Seth Greenberg, this team isn’t forcing turnovers against inferior competition. Elon had just eight turnovers tonight, and Tech had just nine fast break points.
Tech kept Elon at arms length for most of the first half, taking a 34-25 lead on an A.D. Vassallo three-pointer with exactly two minutes before halftime. The Hokies went into the halftime intermission with a 34-27 lead, and things looked good.
However, as the Hokies have done for most of the season, they didn’t play particularly well in the second half, particularly the first 10 minutes. By the 12:52 mark of the second half, Elon was up 44-42 following a three-pointer from point guard Chris Long. Tech came back to retake a 50-47 lead, but a three-pointer from T.J. Douglas tied the game at 50 with 6:37 left.
Tech retook the lead for good on a basket by Victor Davila on their next possession. A big dunk by Davila on an assist by Delaney put the Hokies up 62-55 with 2:38 left in the game. At that point the Phoenix started fouling to stop the clock, and VT was able to get Delaney to the free throw line down the stretch, which ensured the win.
The Hokies return to action on Monday night when they host Wisconsin in the first game of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.