Behind a career game from sophomore point guard Erick Green, Virginia Tech controlled the action for all 40 minutes and blew out Maryland 74-57 in College Park on Thursday night. The Hokies are now 12-5 on the season, with a 3-2 mark in ACC play. Maryland dropped to 11-7 and 1-3 in the ACC.
Erick Green scored a career-high 24 points and was 12-of-16 from the field. Green missed both of his three-point attempts, but he was 12-of-14 from two-point range, and scored many easy baskets both in transition and the halfcourt offense.
Green’s night was a big example of how the entire game went. The Hokies played much better offensively and defensively than Maryland. They out-hustled the Terps to loose balls, beat them on the boards 37-30 despite playing a 2-3 zone, and out-shot them 53.6% to 35.7%. Green also had a team-high four steals in 37 minutes of action.
Tech had 14 assists during the game, seven by Malcolm Delaney. Delaney also scored 19 points, and was 2-of-4 from three-point range while going 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
Victor Davila scored 13 points and had five rebounds while going up against projected first round draft pick Jordan Williams. Williams tied the Maryland record with his 12th consecutive double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds), but it was a very quiet double-double and he was basically a non-factor against the Tech zone for most of the night, particularly in the first half.
Jeff Allen only had seven points, but he pulled down 10 rebounds. Senior wing Terrell Bell scored his only two points on Virginia Tech’s first possession, but he was tough on the inside with seven rebounds and a block. He also had two assists and no turnovers.
This was one of Virginia Tech’s more impressive victories since they joined the ACC. They won easily on the road against a solid team, never trailed in the game, and handed the Terps their biggest loss ever in the Comcast Center, which was opened in 2002.
Looking back, this game was over as soon as the ball was tipped. The Hokies controlled the opening tip, and the ball was pitched ahead to Terrell Bell for an open layup to put Tech up 2-0. The Hokies began the game on a 12-0 run, with Erick Green closing the run on a fastbreak layup with 16:14 remaining in the first half. The Terps didn’t score until a three-pointer by Adrian Bowie at the 15:53 mark of the first half.
Maryland fought back, but the closest they came was 17-13 following a three-pointer by freshman guard Terrell Stoglin at the 11:27 mark. The Hokies kept the Terps at arm’s length for the remainder of the first half, and sophomore wing Manny Atkins drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to put his team up 40-29 heading into the intermission. Atkins continued his streak of good play, finishing with six points and four rebounds in 14 minutes of action.
The Hokies pushed their lead to 17 points in the second half on a Jeff Allen jumper that made the score 55-38 with 11:36 remaining. However, behind a nice home crowd that was no doubt fired up because of Malcolm Delaney’s remark calling Maryland fans the “worst fans ever”, the Terps made a run that cut the lead to 61-53 on a Cliff Tucker three-pointer with 7:15 remaining.
That was as close as Maryland got. The Hokies asserted themselves over the final minutes of the game, holding the Terps to just four points the rest of the way. Tech walked out of the Comcast Center brimming with confidence following the big 17-point road win.
The Hokies return to action on Saturday night when they host Longwood in Cassell Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will not be televised.