Virginia Tech played another poor game offensively on Sunday night, this time falling to in-state rival UVA 57-54 in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies are now 4-4 on the season and 0-1 in the ACC, and they’ve lost three games in a row. UVA improved to 5-3 with the win.
The Hokies have scored under 60 points for four consecutive games, and five of their eight games this season. For the second game in a row, they lost despite holding their opponent below 60 points.
Malcolm Delaney paced the Hokies with 26 points. He was 10-of-15 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range while playing all 40 minutes. Jeff Allen added 12 points and nine rebounds, but no other Tech player was close to finishing with double figures.
Dorenzo Hudson scored just five points, and he has only 18 points total in his last four games. Hudson’s struggles are a big part of why the Hokies have struggled so much on the offensive end of the court. In four games with Hudson scoring eight points or less, the Hokies have failed to score 60 points each time. They are 1-3 in those games, with the lone win coming against Oklahoma State.
Power forward Mike Scott paced UVA with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman wing Joe Harris added 10 points for the Hoos.
Virginia Tech lost this game in the first half by not playing inspirational basketball. Seth Greenberg told the media after the game: “We didn’t have a sense of urgency in the first 20 minutes.”
As a result, Tech only scored two points in the first six minutes of the game. The scoring drought lasted the entire half, and the Hokies weren’t great defensively in the first 20 minutes either. UVA wing Mustapha Farrakhan threw down a fastbreak dunk with 1:43 left in the half to make the score 36-20 UVA, the largest lead of the game. The Hokies scored the final four points of the half and trailed 36-24 heading into the break.
The Hokies played with a “sense of urgency” in the second half, and they cut the lead to 44-38 following back-to-back tip-ins by Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game. For all their shortcomings in the first half, they stayed tough enough defensively to be within striking distance of UVA down the stretch.
Back-to-back baskets by Allen and Delaney with just under five minutes remaining cut the UVA lead to 49-46, and it was just a 53-51 game when Victor Davila banked in a shot with 20 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing inbounds pass, Mike Scott got behind the Tech defense and was fouled under the basket by Jeff Allen. Allen appeared to be going for the strip, but the officials whistled him for an intentional foul. Scott nailed two free throws to put the Hoos up 55-51, and UVA retained possession as well.
The Hokies fouled Mustapha Farrakhan, who hit two more free throws to put his team up 57-51. Tech still had life however, as Malcolm Delaney hit a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to cut the lead to 57-54. Freshman Joe Harris was fouled and went to the line for a one-and-one with 10 seconds left, but he missed the front end and the Hokies were given a golden opportunity to tie the game.
However, Mike Scott grabbed the offensive rebound for UVA, and though he missed his free throw attempt as well, Tech was rushed in their final possession, and Dorenzo Hudson’s last second three-point attempt was no good.
The Hokies return to action next Sunday against Penn State in Cassell Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 1pm, and the game will be televised by Comcast Sportsnet.