Garrius Adams missed a potential game-tying three pointer with three seconds remaining and the Hokies escaped a Miami team that would never go away in a 72-68 victory in Cassell Coliseum Sunday. The victory put Tech back up above .500 in ACC play at 4-3, while the Hurricanes lost their fourth straight conference contest (by a combined 11 points) to fall to 1-6.
The Hokies seemed comfortable up nine with just under eight minutes to go, but the Canes utilized a 13-5 run to get back to within 62-61 with less than three minutes remaining. Tech responded with a three-point play from Erick Green to push its lead to four before Durand Scott countered with a jumper of his own. Malcolm Delaney followed with his first points of the second half, a crucial three-pointer that gave Tech a five-point cushion at 68-63.
After an exchange of free throws, Adams hit his third trey in the span of three minutes to get the Canes within two. An ill-advised shot from Delaney with 52 seconds left gave Miami a chance to tie or take the lead, but Adrian Johnson missed two wide open three's before Tech regained possession. Delaney was then fouled with 16.5 seconds remaining, but only made one of the two free throws, leaving the door open for the Canes to tie the game. However, Adams shot clanked off the iron and Terrell Bell secured the rebound to give Tech the victory.
The win was one Tech needed, especially with two road games on the horizon in Raleigh and Boston this week. It also gave the Hokies a victory over a team with a top 75 RPI, despite the Canes poor conference record.
In a game billed as a matchup of guards, it was actually the mismatch at the post position that gave the Hokies the edge. Jeff Allen played a fantastic game, recording his ninth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Allen was 7-of-12 from the floor and showed great defensive discipline, committing just two fouls in 39 minutes. On the flip side, Miami couldn't get big man Reggie Johnson going. The 300-pound center attempted just five shots and finished with six points and 10 boards.
Both Delaney and Erick Green played a lot better than they did against Georgia Tech, finishing with 14 and 15, respectively. Delaney only made one shot in the second half, but made 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. Green scored five of his 15 in the final 2:32 and added six assists.
Miami's backcourt duo of Scott and Malcolm Grant combined for 35 points, 21 of which came from Scott on 7-of-13 shooting. Adams scored 11 points, all of which came in the second half for the Hurricanes.
The Hokies hit the halfway point of the ACC season in their next contest Wednesday at NC State. Tech won in Raleigh by 20 last year, the first time a Hokie team had won there since 1917. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.