Blacksburg, VA — Virginia Tech began the 2009-10 basketball season with a 69-55 victory over the Brown Bears on Sunday in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies got decent play from most of their starters, but not a lot of production from their bench in the 14-point win. Tech is now 1-0 on the season, while Brown dropped to 1-1 overall.
Malcolm Delaney, the ACC’s leading returning scorer, led the Hokies with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Delaney was 3-of-7 from three-point range, and he also went 6-of-8 from the free throw line. He dished out four assists in 38 minutes of action, and also had a block and a steal.
Delaney played a lot of minutes, and he played nearly all of them at point guard. True freshman Erick Green played just three minutes in the game, all coming in the first half. He did hit his only shot attempt, a three-pointer, but he needs to be stronger with the ball.
Three other starters also played at least 30 minutes. Jeff Allen played 30 minutes, and he finished with 17 points and six rebounds. Allen also had two blocks and two steals. 13 of his points came in the second half, and he was 8-of-14 from the field.
Dorenzo Hudson spent 35 minutes on the court, and he had a solid overall game. Hudson scored the first five points of the game for the Hokies, and he finished with eight points, six rebounds, six assists, a block and a steal. Terrell Bell got the start at small forward, and he played 31 minutes. He also finished with eight points, and he brought down a team-high seven rebounds to go with four assists and a block.
Victor Davila was the fifth starter, and he played 22 minutes. He scored eight points, and flashed some excellent post scoring moves, but he struggled on defense and on the boards. Despite being the biggest player on the court, Davila had just three rebounds.
J.T. Thompson played 18 minutes off the bench and struggled from the field, finishing with just two points on 1-of-7 shooting. Freshman wing Ben Boggs played 10 minutes and scored two points, while Lewis Witcher played 13 minutes and had two rebounds.
As a team, the Hokies were 25-of-56 from the field (46.4%), 7-of-17 (41.2%) from three-point range and 10-of-18 (55.6%) from the free throw line. Tech’s ball movement was good, but it was clear they missed the scoring of departed wing A.D. Vassallo. The Hokies had just eight turnovers for the game. No one had more than one turnover with the exception of J.T. Thompson, who had three.
Brown began the game playing a zone defense, and the Hokies were able to get good shots against it. Dorenzo Hudson nailed a three-pointer on Tech’s first possession, and one possession later he put the ball on the court and went baseline, draining a pullup jumper. The Hokies started the game strong, leading 11-3 with 16:29 left in the first half.
However, Brown is a smart, scrappy team that can knock down the open jumpers. The Bears quickly cut the lead to 13-10, and Tech knew they had a game on their hands. The Hokies responded to the Brown run by going on a 12-4 run of their own. A breakaway dunk by Malcolm Delaney began the run, and Victor Davila ended it with an inside shot that made the score 25-14 with 8:44 left in the first half.
The Hokies went on to lead by as many as 15 in the first half, with a free throw from Davila making the score 34-19. However, Brown scored the last two buckets of the half and went into the halftime intermission trailing 34-23.
Brown continued to battle in the second half. The Bears hit two three-pointers to begin the half, and by the 11:37 mark they had whittled the Tech lead to just 45-40. Jeff Allen responded by blocking a shot, and Dorenzo Hudson finished on the other end with a pullup jumper that made the score 47-40. The Bears got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
Tech went on to lead by as many as 16 points when a Jeff Allen three-pointer made the score 69-53. Brown scored the last bucket of the game to cut the lead to 69-55, but the Hokies then ran out the clock to begin the season 1-0.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Tuesday night when they host UNC-Greensboro. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm in Cassell Coliseum.