Blacksburg, VA – Virginia Tech used a huge first half to defeat the #23 Miami Hurricanes 81-66 on Wednesday night. The Hokies led by as many as 35 points in the first half, and though the Canes rallied a bit in the final 20 minutes, there was never any danger of Tech losing this game. VT is now 13-2 overall, with a 1-1 mark in the ACC. Miami is 15-2, and they have a 1-2 record in conference play.
Malcolm Delaney has answered all questions about his injured ankle over the last two games. After dropping 26 points at North Carolina, Delaney scored 28 points against Miami. He was 6-of-14 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-point range and 14-of-16 from the free throw line. Delaney also dished out nine assists in 38 minutes of playing time.
Three other Hokies scored in double figures. Jeff Allen had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Terrell Bell scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Bell was 3-of-3 from three-point range following a 2-of-11 performance from the field against North Carolina. Dorenzo Hudson had 11 points for Tech, while J.T. Thompson had eight points and eight rebounds.
Tech’s big first half was the difference in the game. The Hokies shot 18-of-29 (62.1%) from the field in the first 20 minutes, while Miami was only 7-of-26 (26.9%). Tech hit 7-of-9 (77.8%) from three-point range in the first half. Despite going 0-of-7 from the outside in the second half, the first half performance was enough for the Hokies to pull away for the easy win.
Virginia Tech’s defensive performance was impressive throughout the game, as Miami shot just 34.4% from the field and 22.2% from the outside. Coming into the game, the Canes were shooting 39.9% from three-point range as a team.
The Hokies came out hot, going up 13-4 by the first media timeout. A free throw by Dwayne Collins cut the lead to 13-5 with 15:24 remaining, but for the rest of the first half it was all Virginia Tech.
The Hokies followed up the Collins free throw by going on a 35-8 run. Dorenzo Hudson got things going by slamming down a big one-handed dunk in the paint, which brought the Cassell Coliseum crowd to its feet.
From there, the Hokies kept extending their lead, and it was Terrell Bell that put the dagger in the Hurricanes in the first half. With Tech leading 32-8, Bell drained a three-pointer with 6:23 remaining in the half. Bell went on to hit two more three-pointers over the next four minutes, and then hit a baseline jumper with 2:17 remaining to give his team a 48-13 lead, Tech’s biggest margin of the game.
At that point, the Hokies were on pace to win the game by over 70 points, which is something you never see in ACC play. Miami was able to battle back in the second half, cutting the lead to as little as 14 points with 1:28 to play. However, the deficit was so large that the Canes had no chance of completing the comeback, and Tech went on to win by a final score of 81-66.
It was a huge win for the Hokies, who are opening conference play against three ranked opponents in six days, with two of the games on the road. Tech lost at #9 UNC on Sunday night, beat #23 Miami on Wednesday, and hope to knock off #25 Florida State in Tallahassee on Saturday.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6pm, and the game will be televised by RSN. Check your local listings for availability in your area.