Virginia Tech committed 18 turnovers and shot just 39% in a 72-57 at Georgia Tech Tuesday night. The Jackets blew open a close game with a 15-2 run in the game's final 4:29, forcing five VT turnovers.
Surprisingly, the Hokies (13-6, 3-3) led for most of the game before GT (10-9, 3-3) took the lead for good at 55-52 on a three-pointer by Brian Oliver. Oliver was outstanding for the Jackets, scoring 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. Oliver sliced through Tech's zone on nearly every occasion, rarely having his shot contested. However, his performance was overshadowed by point guard Iman Shumpert. The junior registered a triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. He also came just three steals short of a quadruple-double!
However, the best part of Shumpert's game was shutting down Malcolm Delaney. Shumpert played swarming defense, limiting Delaney to 3-of-11 shooting and just eight points. Delaney didn't even make it to the free throw line, his specialty, until there was 2:47 left in the game. Erick Green had his first off night in awhile, missing his final 11 shots after connecting on three of his first four. The sophomore guard tallied nine points, failing to reach double digits for the first time since entering the starting lineup on December 12.
Both teams shot the ball well in the first half, with the Hokies forcing Georgia Tech into some early turnovers to spark a 15-2 run and open up their biggest lead of the game at 17-10. The Jackets had six turnovers in the five minute span, but committed just six turnovers the rest of the game. On the flip side, the Hokies committed 18 turnovers, including eight from Delaney, in the game's final 30 minutes to let the Jackets work their way back into it and eventually run away at the end.
Despite their sloppy play, the Hokies had a 39-36 advantage at the break, thanks to 52% shooting. However, VT shot just 24% in the second half (6-of-25) and scored 18 points in the game's final 20 minutes, allowing GT to blow things wide open. The Hokies seemed to go away from the duo of Jeff Allen and Victor Davila, who after combining for 22 points in the first half, scored a total of nine points in the second half. Davila finished with 13 points and seven boards, but also committed five turnovers. Allen recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Even though this was VT's third game in six days, the Hokies didn't utilize their bench much at all. Manny Atkins had 2 points in 19 minutes, but Jarrell Eddie played one minute and Ty Garland never left the bench. Fatigue obviously seemed to be a factor as the Hokies wore down in the game's final five minutes.
With this tough stretch behind them, the Hokies don't play again until Sunday, a rest this team needs. A look ahead, though, shows three games in less than a week again, two of which are on the road. Sunday's tilt against Miami is the lone home game in the week. Tip-off from Cassell is set for 5:30pm.