Virginia Tech survived a late push from Miami to hold onto a 72-68 victory. The Hokies were able to match Miami’s intensity shooting and had good production from its bench.
An unsuspected spark plug came off the bench while Erick Green found himself in foul trouble with less than five minutes in the first half. Freshman point guard Tyrone Garland, who was in the doghouse last game due to academic issues, banked in back-to-back three pointers to be the catalyst in a 13-4 run to close the half.
Virginia Tech(14-6, 4-3 ACC) took a ten point lead into halftime thanks to the hot shooting hand of Malcolm Delaney, who followed up a poor performance against Georgia Tech by scoring 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting, including 3-for-7 from behind-the-arc. Delaney’s ability to nail the clutch shots to silence any runs from Miami (12-9, 1-6 ACC) proved to be the difference.
Miami kept things interesting late in the game when Garrius Adams nailed three straight 3-pointers to get the Hurricanes within two points in the final minutes. Delany and Green answered with a 3-pointer and a three-point play, respectively.
Adams finished the game with 11 points. He went 4-for-9 from the field, including 3-for-7 from three-point land. His impact on the game wasn’t seen until the final push.
Miami rode excellent play from Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott to keep it in the game. Grant had 14 points while Scott had 21.
Virginia Tech continues to struggle against stronger guard play, but did a great job at containing a dominating big man. Reggie Johnson came into tonight’s game averaging 12.2 points and 10 rebounds a game. Johnson, 6-foot-10 and 303 pounds, has the ability to take over a game in the paint. Jeff Allen and Victor Davila did a great job at limiting Johnson’s points and kept Miami one-dimensional.
Allen kept Virginia Tech ahead of Miami as he began to dominate the second half. Allen finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and only two fouls. He became a force in the paint and cleaned up any miss with an emphatic finish around the basket.
Davila is enjoying a solid showing offensively by scoring nine points on 3-for-3 shooting. The center is taking high percentage shots and contributing more and more on the stat sheet each game.
Virginia Tech is two games behind Duke in the ACC standings and kept its NCAA tournament chances alive with tonight’s win. Up next is a date with the North Carolina State Wolfpack Tuesday night at seven.