It was another rough night for Terps fans as they watched the Virginia Tech Hokies jump out to a 12-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game and the Hokies led throughout with the final score, 74-57. Erick Green, a sophomore on the Hokies, had a career high 24 points on 12 of 16 shooting. Malcolm Delaney also added 19 points, 7 dimes, 5 boards, and 2 steals for the Hokies. Amongst those 19 points was a totally sic double crossover that pretty much forced Cliff Tucker (one of the best perimeter defenders in the ACC) to go to the hospital to be seen for his broken ankles. The move was silky smooth and breathtaking to see. Virginia Tech (12-5, 3-2 ACC) has now won eight of nine games with the lone defeat last week in Chapel Hill.
Coach Williams unveiled a new starting five of Jordan Williams, Dino Gregory, Sean Mosley, Cliff Tucker, and Pe’Shon Howard taking the places of Terrell Stoglin and Adrian Bowie. Needless to say, with the 12-0 spurt, the new starting five did not get out on a good foot. Maryland could never claw back in and even get it to a one possession game for the rest of the game. Maryland (11-7, 1-3) had the sixth ranked defense in the nation in terms of field goal percentage and the Hokies shot 54% for the game. The Virginia Tech offense was very effective at driving and passing to the open players led by Delaney and the 2-3 zone they employed caused the Terps many problems including not feeding Jordan Williams and getting him active. Williams finished with 11 points and 11 boards to get his 12th straight double-double tying Len Elmore for the all-time lead at Maryland. However, getting those 11 points was a struggle the entire evening for the Maryland big man.
Each time Maryland would chip down the lead, the Hokies would respond with a run. For example, during the midway point of the second half Cliff Tucker made four straight hoops including three threes cutting the lead to 61-53 with 7:15 to go. However, the Hokies responded with a 9-2 spurt to put the game out of reach.
This was a need game for both teams. The Hokies needed to get the win because ACC road games are tough to come by and also to help improve their case for the tournament and establish themselves as the upper echelon of the ACC. The Terps needed the win to hold serve at home and to climb back into the middle of the ACC race. Unfortunately, the Hokies played with more passion and heart and came out with the solid road win. Maryland needs to bounce back Saturday when they host the surprising Clemson Tigers.