Virginia Tech beat Longwood 85-50 on Wednesday afternoon, but other than the final score, it was not a good day for the Hokies. Malcolm Delaney, the ACC’s leading scorer, went down early in the game with a left ankle injury. X-rays were negative, but Delaney appears to have a bad sprain and his status is unknown. He will receive an MRI to determine the extent of the damage. The Hokies improved to 11-1 with the win, but it looks like they’ll head into the Seton Hall game without their top scorer and best leader.
“He said he heard something pop,” Seth Greenberg told The Washington Post. “His ankle blew up twice the size it’s supposed to be. We just hope there’s good news on the MRI. We will not play him until he’s healthy.”
With Delaney out of the game, the responsibility fell on the shoulders of freshman Erick Green to run the point for the Hokies. Green responded, leading Tech with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He also had four assists, two rebounds and four turnovers in 30 minutes of action. Green was assertive and was able to get into the lane often against a small Longwood team.
Jeff Allen only played four minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, but he finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in 15 minutes of action. Dorenzo Hudson added 11 points for Tech, his third consecutive game in double figures. Ben Boggs scored a career-high 10 points.
As a team, Tech shot better from the field than they did from the free throw line. The Hokies were 30-of-51 (58.8%) from the floor, but just 23-of-41 (56.1%) from the free throw line. Boggs was 8-of-10 from the line, but other than that Tech was not very efficient from the line.
Longwood was just 18-of-70 (25.7%) from the field, as the taller and more athletic Hokies were able to out-talent their second consecutive opponent.
For the second straight game, Seth Greenberg was able to get extensive minutes for his four freshmen. Erick Green was forced to play 30 minutes thanks to the injury to Delaney. Ben Boggs played 22 minutes, Manny Atkins got 18, and Cadarian Raines was on the court for 13. This game served as an opportunity for them to get more playing time before things get serious on Saturday against Seton Hall.
Delaney’s injury occurred just over a minute into the game, and the junior guard from Baltimore did not even get to attempt a shot. Despite the injury to their top scorer, Tech was still able to score 85 points despite having a terrible day at the free throw line.
Longwood never held a lead, and they never even managed to tie the game. The Hokies jumped out to a 7-0 lead four minutes into the game, and just four minutes later they had already extended that lead to 19-4. Despite Delaney not being on the court, the Lancers were overmatched by their ACC opponent.
Virginia Tech went into halftime leading 43-21, despite Delaney and Jeff Allen only playing a combined 11 minutes in the first half. The Hokies kept pouring it on in the second, when Jeff Allen scored all 13 of his points. By the 14 minute mark, Tech led by 30, and they gradually extended that lead. They led by as many as 39 points before Greenberg called off the dogs and put all four freshmen on the court at the same time.
The freshmen played somewhat sloppy down the stretch, turning the ball over numerous times, but the experience will be good for them. Walk-on guard Paul Debnam ended the scoring by hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Hokies an 85-50 win.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Saturday night when they take on a high-scoring Seton Hall team in Cancun. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.