Hokies Win ACC Battle in Cassell 63-62

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Last season Virginia Tech lost a one-point game at Boston College because Dorenzo Hudson didn’t block out Rakim Sanders, who sliced down the lane to tip in a missed basket as time expired. This year it was Hudson who scored the game winner with five seconds left to give the Hokies a 63-62 win over the Eagles. Tech improved to 15-3 overall and 2-2 in the ACC, while BC fell to 11-9 and 2-4.

Hudson led all scorers with 18 points. Malcolm Delaney was just 4-of-15 from the field and scored 13 points. He scored Tech’s first six points, but finished with only 13 for the day. Terrell Bell helped Hudson, scoring 11 points, six of which came on breakaway dunks.

Virginia Tech was outplayed in most phases of the game on Saturday. BC shot 55% from the field, while the Hokies were only 38.6%. The bigger Eagles also outrebounded Tech 29-23. However, BC turned the ball over 20 times, while Tech had just nine turnovers. That was the difference in the game.

Virginia Tech controlled this game in the first half, despite BC’s good shooting. The Hokies got off to a hot start, with Malcolm Delaney hitting two three-pointers in the first two minutes to put his team up 6-0. At that point it looked like Delaney was going to have a big game, but it wasn’t to be.

Delaney struggles at times when matched up with a bigger, more physical defender. Boston College brought 6-5, 210-pound wing Dallas Elmore off the bench to guard Delaney, and Elmore succeeded in frustrating Delaney for most of the day. Delaney only scored seven points after those two three-pointers to start the game. He also missed two free throws, including the front end of a one-and-one.

BC stayed in the game for most of the half, but the Hokies went on an 8-0 run that eventually put them up by 14 points. The run was bookended by three-pointers by Terrell Bell and Dorenzo Hudson, with Hudson’s shot putting the Hokies up 38-24. It looked like VT was going to run away with the game, but Tech failed to score for the last 3:31 of the first half and went into the intermission with only a 38-29 lead.

Tech’s scoring woes continued in the second half. The Hokies only scored four points in the first 9:34 of the second half. Jeff Allen scored with 10:26 remaining to put Tech up 44-43. Despite such a terrible start to the half offensively, Virginia Tech never quit playing defense and the Eagles were never able to take control of the game.

In fact, despite Tech’s struggles offensively, BC never led by more than three points in the second half. That lead came when Reggie Jackson hit two free throws with 29 seconds remaining, putting his team up 62-59.

This was the type of game that Virginia Tech lost last year. Instead, the Hokies stayed tough and got it done this time around. Malcolm Delaney was fouled by Dallas Elmore with 22 seconds remaining, and went to the line for two free throws. He sank both, making the score 62-61 Boston College. The Eagles inbounded from under their own basket, and that’s when the Hokies made their defensive play of the year.

BC inbounded to Biko Paris, who was immediately swarmed under the basket by three Hokies, including Jeff Allen and Terrell Bell. The Hokies tied the ball up, got the jump ball from the officials, and regained possession of the ball with 22 seconds remaining.

Tech got the ball inside to Victor Davila, but he was stripped of the ball before he could go up for a shot. The Hokies got a great bounce, with the ball taking one hop straight to Dorenzo Hudson right under the basket for the easy layup, which put Tech up 63-62. The clock read 9.2 seconds after Hudson’s shot, but the clock had stopped running at some point during the possession, and the officials watched the replay to make the call: BC got the ball back with exactly five seconds remaining.

Reggie Jackson brought the ball up the court for the Eagles, and tried to get into the lane. However, he was stripped of the ball, which rolled free to Jeff Allen. Allen recovered the loose ball near midcourt as the buzzer sounded, and raised his arms in the air as the victory celebration ensued.

The Hokies return to action on Thursday night when they travel to UVA. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

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