Late surge lifts Virginia Tech past UNCG, 59-46
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech outscored UNCG 21-8 over the final 10:48 to pull away for a 59-46 win in men's basketball action at Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night.
The Spartans turned the ball over on six out of seven possessions during a key 11-0 run by the Hokies that saw a 38-38 tie turn into an 11-point Virginia Tech lead midway through the second half. The run was capped off by a three-pointer by Malcolm Delaney - Virginia Tech's first of the night after missing its first 12 attempts. To that point, the Hokies had scored 40 of their 46 points in the paint.
The Spartans committed 23 turnovers on the night after having just 14 in the season-opener at Duke last Friday. Mikko Koivisto and Kyle Randall each had 10 points. Koivisto, however, was held without a field goal attempt after the 8:10 mark of the first half.
Jeff Allen had 14 points, 10 rebounds and six steals for Virginia Tech (2-0), while Malcolm Delaney led all scorers with 17 points. The Hokies converted UNCG's 23 turnovers into 27 points.
"I thought we passed up on a few shots that maybe we should have taken, but we need to take better care of the basketball," said UNCG coach Mike Dement. "I thought maybe we got tired down the stretch when they went on their run. There was a lot of up and down action and I think we got tired. They chased down some long offensive rebounds and we need to do a better job of pursuing those, too."
Koivisto got off to a quick start. After missing his first three-point attempt of the night - badly - he scored seven of UNCG's first nine points as the Spartans were within a point at 14-13 eight minutes into the game. His next trey gave him his 46th career double digit scoring game and UNCG a 20-18 lead with eight minutes left before intermission. But that was his last points of the night.
The Spartans were content to play a 2-3 zone so long as Virginia Tech couldn't make a shot from the perimeter. The Hokies missed all 10 of their three-point attempts in the opening half and scored 24 of their 26 points in the paint. The teams went to the locker room deadlocked at 26-all.
The Spartans had just one field goal in the first seven minutes of the second half as the Hokies opened up a five-point lead. But Brandon Evans' conventional three-point play trimmed that margin back two.
UNCG had evened things up before going 5:40 between baskets as the Hokies went on their 11-0 run.
The Spartans will celebrate their home opener on Friday night, playing host to No. 22 Clemson. SpartanFest will open in the Coliseum Pavillion at 4:30 p.m., as will the parking lots for tailgating. Coliseum doors will open at 6 p.m. and game time is set for 7 p.m. The game will also be televised by FSN South.
VIRGINIA TECH 59, UNCG 46
Kyle Randall 5-11 0-0 10; Mikko Koivisto 4-6 0-0 10; Brandon Evans 2-8 3-5 7; Ben Stywall 3-9 0-0 6; Kendall Toney 2-4 0-0 5; Pete Brown 0-5 3-4 3; Korey Van Dussen 1-4 0-0 2; Brian Cole 1-4 0-0 2; Darrius Sellers 0-0 1-2 1; Deangelo Jackson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-51 7-11 46.
VIRGINIA TECH (2-0)
Malcolm Delaney 6-16 4-4 17; Jeff Allen 7-13 0-0 14; Victor Davila 4-7 0-1 8; Dorenzo Hudson 3-7 0-4 6; Terrell Bell 2-8 2-3 6; JT Thompson 1-4 4-6 6; Ben Boggs 1-4 0-0 2; Gene Swindle 0-1 0-0 0; Manny Atkins 0-0 0-0 0; Paul Debnam 0-1 0-0 0; Lewis Witcher 0-0 0-0 0; Erick Green 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 24-64 10-18 59.
Halftime: Tied 26-26. 3-point goals--UNCG 3-10 (Mikko Koivisto 2-4; Kendall Toney 1-3; Ben Stywall 0-1; Brandon Evans 0-1; Kyle Randall 0-1), Virginia Tech 1-13 (Malcolm Delaney 1-5; Jeff Allen 0-1; Dorenzo Hudson 0-1; Terrell Bell 0-3; Ben Boggs 0-2; Erick Green 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Virginia Tech-None. Rebounds--UNCG 38 (Ben Stywall 8), Virginia Tech 37 (Jeff Allen 10). Assists--UNCG 7 (Kendall Toney 2; Kyle Randall 2), Virginia Tech 9 (Malcolm Delaney 5). Total fouls--UNCG 20, Virginia Tech 12. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Virginia Tech-None. A-9693
FREE THROWS: On the first day student tickets were available for Friday's game against Clemson, 1633 student tickets were distributed. Tuesday morning saw students lined up before 8:30 a.m. at the Fleming Gym box office to get a front row seat for UNCG's first game in the Greensboro Coliseum... Elhanan Bone returned to uniform on Tuesday night. Hampered by a sore foot for a good portion of the preseason, Bone did not dress last Friday night at Duke. However, after two solid days of practice, he was ready to go if called upon on Tuesday... the Spartans went with a bigger starting line-up on Friday night against a usually physical Virginia Tech squad. Darrius Sellers got the start in the frontcourt - with three forwards in the line-up - in place of guard Brandon Evans... a familiar face greeted the Spartans on press row Tuesday night. Former Elon coach Ernie Nestor was in attendance, now a scout for the New Jersey Nets.
- UNCG -