Behind Allen, Tech Knocks off Boston College

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Virginia Tech got a huge 79-71 victory over visiting Boston College in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday afternoon behind the play of Jeff Allen. The Hokies improved to 12-5 overall and 2-1 in the ACC with the win. BC dropped to 13-6, with a 1-3 mark in conference play. This was the Eagles’ fourth straight loss since upsetting then #1 UNC on January 4.

Jeff Allen had been struggling recently, but he dominated the Eagles in every facet of the game. Allen scored a career-high 30 points, and also pulled down nine rebounds. He was 11-of-16 from the field, and the 11 made field goals were also a career high. Allen also excelled on the defensive end, blocking three shots and coming up with three steals.

Allen had help from Malcolm Delaney and A.D. Vassallo. Delaney scored 19 points and was 11-of-12 from the free throw line. He is now 103-of-117 from the free throw line this year, good for 88%. Delaney also had a team-high four assists and committed just one turnover. As a team, the Hokies had just 10 turnovers.

A.D. Vassallo added 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Tech was 26-of-53 (49.1%) from the field and 7-of-17 (41.2%) from three-point range. The Eagles shot just 40.7% from the floor and 29.2% from three-point range.

BC was led by forward Joe Trapani, who posted 23 points and 10 rebounds. All-ACC guard Tyrese Rice added 19 points, but he was just 6-of-19 from the field.

Virginia Tech outrebounded Boston College 38-29, and had 13 offensive rebounds. The Hokies also blocked eight shots, while the Eagles blocked just three.

In the early going, a Virginia Tech victory looked far from certain. Boston College went up 21-13 at the 12:14 mark on a layup by Joe Trapani, and the Hokies were forced to take a timeout. Even after the timeout, it took Tech nearly three minutes to get on the scoreboard again.

At the 9:27 mark, Malcolm Delaney popped free for an open three-pointer, and he knocked it down. That made the score 21-16, and on the next Tech possession Hank Thorns added an outside jumper of his own. That made it 21-19, and those big shots sparked a 15-2 Tech run that was capped by a Dorenzo Hudson three-pointer on a behind-the-back pass from Delaney. Hudson’s shot made the score 28-23 Tech with 5:52 left in the half.

The Hokies led by as many as eight points in the first half, but a Joe Trapani three-pointer with three seconds remaining made the halftime score 41-37. Tech had a lead, but it was far from over.

The second half was nip and tuck for most of the way. Boston College came back to take a 48-47 lead with 14:40 remaining following a Tyrese Rice layup, and the game was also tied on three occasions in the second half. The Hokies never led by more than five points until the final moments when the Eagles began fouling.

BC’s final shot at victory came following a Joe Trapani three-pointer with 3:09 remaining. That made the score 70-68 Hokies. However, the Eagles managed only three points the rest of the way, and that came on a three-pointer from Rice with just 17 seconds remaining when the game was all but decided. Virginia Tech made nine free throws over the final 2:48 and hung on for the big win.

The Hokies are now winners of seven of their last eight games, and are playing their best basketball of the year. Saturday’s win is their fourth straight against Boston College.

Tech returns to action on Wednesday when they travel to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are undefeated and ranked #3 in the nation. They knocked off previously undefeated Clemson 78-68 on the road on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.

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