Virginia Tech used a big first half run to knock off the Richmond Spiders 62-48 in Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday night. The Hokies took a 24-6 lead in the first half and never looked back. They are now 11-5 on the season, with a 1-1 mark in ACC play. Up next is a big conference game against Boston College.
Tech got a balanced offensive attack, and won this game despite an off night from their top offensive player. A.D. Vassallo was held to just six points on 2-of-6 shooting. As a team, the Hokies were just 2-of-14 from three-point range.
Malcolm Delaney paced Tech with 12 points, but was just 3-of-11 from the field and 1-of-5 from three-point range. Delaney was 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He had an uncharacteristic five turnovers in 35 minutes of action.
Jeff Allen added 11 points and 12 rebounds, while J.T. Thompson scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Thanks largely to Allen and Thompson, the Hokies outrebounded the Spiders 48-30. Tech also shot 45.1%, compared to just 31.1% for Richmond. With such a big disparity in shooting and rebounding, its easy to see why the Hokies won this one by double digits.
While their top shooters struggled, some role players quietly had good nights. Terrell Bell played his second straight quality game, finishing with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting. He also had five rebounds and two steals in 15 minutes. Dorenzo Hudson scored five points and was 2-of-3 from the field. Both Bell and Hudson knocked down contested jump shots in this game, which is a good sign as Tech heads into the meat of conference play.
This game was expected to be close, but the Hokies jumped on the Spiders from the opening tip. Tech got out to a 7-0 lead, and Richmond didn’t score until a three pointer at the 14:16 mark by forward Josh Dunkier. The Spiders cut the lead to 9-6 on a three-pointer by Justin Harper with 12:53 remaining in first half, but that’s as close as they got.
Tech followed up the Harper three-pointer with a 15-0 run that was capped by a jumper by Dorenzo Hudson at the 6:39 mark. Hudson’s jumper made the score 24-6, and from there the Hokies breezed into halftime with a 41-21 lead after leading by as many as 22 points in the first half.
The lead was quickly extended to 24 points early in the second half on a Victor Davila layup that made the score 45-21. Following that shot, the Hokies seemed to take their foot off the accelerator. They continued to play excellent defense, but they didn’t do as well offensively in the second half. Despite the lack of offensive production, they still led 60-42 with 1:49 remaining.
At that point, Seth Greenberg cleared his bench. As a result, Richmond was able to close within 12 points. A Paul Debnam breakaway layup put Tech back up 62-48 with two seconds left, and the Hokies won their final non-conference game of the season by a comfortable margin.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Saturday when they host Boston College. Tip-off is scheduled for 4pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN.