It didn't look pretty, but the Hokies did what they had to do in a 70-52 win over the visiting Longwood Lancers Saturday. Just 44 hours after an emotional victory on the road against Maryland, Tech (13-5) didn't come out with the type of energy they had in recent games. However, a strong shooting second half surged the Hokies to their ninth win in the last 10 games.
Longwood came out ready to play in the first half jumping out to a 15-10 lead in the games first 10 minutes.. However, the Lancers would miss 10 of their final 11 shots in the half, allowing Tech to go on a 19-4 run to take a 10-point cushion into the locker room. Neither team shot the ball well in the low-scoring half, with Tech going 9-for-30 (30%) and Longwood shooting just 7-of-21 (33%).
The Lancers were able to cut the Tech deficit down to five on a jumper by Aaron Mitchell with 12:38 remaining, but LU couldn't keep pace with the Hokies down the stretch. Tech went on a 29-9 run in the next eight minutes, punctuated by a high-flying Terrell Bell dunk and Erick Green fast-break layup to push the Hokies' lead to a game-high 25. Tech would then coast down the stretch to the 18-point victory.
Malcolm Delaney made just 6-of-14 from the field but led Tech with 23 points thanks to a 10-of-12 performance from the free throw line. Green was the only other Hokie in double figures with 14. The sophomore point guard was once again excellent in taking care of the ball, tallying five assists and just one turnover.
I expected a big game from both Jeff Allen and Victor Davila, but the Hokies did not do a good job of getting the ball down on the post. Davila had seven points and four rebounds, while Allen took just eight shots against the undersized Lancers, tallying six points and 10 rebounds.
The Hokies ended up shooting 45% from the field, thanks to a 16-of-26 (62%) performance from the field in the second half. Tech forced 14 Lancer turnovers and outrebounded Longwood 36-29.
There are now just 11 games remaining in the season and they all come in the ACC. The Hokies are in a good position, sitting at 3-2 in the conference with a game at Georgia Tech (9-9, 2-3) on Tuesday. Tip-off in Atlanta is set for 9 p.m.