Sunday, February 07, 2010
Foul? Not to the Hokies in game against Clemson
Tech cans just 15 field goals, but makes 38 foul shots in the win. | Virginia Tech 70, Clemson 59
Photos by MATT GENTRY The Roanoke Times
Virginia Tech forward J.T. Thompson (left) struggles for a rebound with Clemson's Jerai Grant during the second half of Saturday's ACC game. Thompson snared six rebounds, tied for tops on the team, in the game.
MATT GENTRY The Roanoke Times
Coach Seth Greenberg waves to the student section at Cassell.
Virginia Tech Hokies basketball
BLACKSBURG -- The Virginia Tech men's basketball team didn't look very good when it put the ball up Saturday -- except when its players were standing at the free-throw line.
The Hokies made only 15 baskets but sank 38 free throws in a 70-59 victory over Clemson on Saturday at Cassell Coliseum.
"That was two teams whose offenses were offensive and defenses were aggressive," Tech coach Seth Greenberg said.
The Hokies (18-4, 5-3 ACC) shot 30.6 percent from the field, including 15.4 percent in the first half. They were 38-of-46 from the free-throw line.
"It was odd," forward Jeff Allen, who had 13 points and four steals, said of the game. "We shot 46 free throws. Yeah, that was odd."
Malcolm Delaney was 20-of-23 from the free-throw line, tying the school record for most free throws made in a game. Dorenzo Hudson made 20 in a Jan. 2 win over Seton Hall, and Terry Penn made 20 in a 1957 win over The Citadel.
"I drew four fouls. The rest, they just fouled," said Delaney, who finished with 30 points despite going 0-for-7 from the field in the first half. "They like blocking shots, and I use my brain to outsmart people. If they want to keep trying to block shots, I'm not going to let them block my shot. Pump-fake them if they jump, and I'm going to go to the free-throw line.
"If you see people calling fouls on you, you would think to back off, but they [were] playing so aggressive."
The Hokies picked up their most significant win of the year by far. Clemson (16-7, 4-5) began the day ranked No. 32 in the RPI. Entering Saturday, Tech's best RPI win was Seton Hall, which began the day ranked No. 59.
"Do I think this ... has a chance to be a special group? No doubt about it," Greenberg said. "But I'm also understanding there's four weeks left in the season and we've got to get better. ... And we will."
Halfway through their league schedule, the Hokies are tied for fourth place in the ACC.
"We're more mature than we were last year," Allen said. "We're a better team."
The game was played in front of a nearly full house. Tech students, who stood in a long line before the game, were admitted free to make up for season-ticket holders who couldn't attend because of the winter storm.
The Tigers had the same field-goal percentage as Tech but were 14-of-21 from the free-throw line.
Clemson was whistled for 30 personal fouls to Tech's 24. Two Clemson starters fouled out, and power forward Trevor Booker collected four fouls. He played just 23 minutes.
"Trevor is one of the best players in the league, one of the best in the country. Taking him out is like taking Delaney away from Virginia Tech," Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said.
"I took it upon myself to get Booker in foul trouble," Delaney said.
The Hokies, playing their second game in three days, made just four baskets in the first half. But they led 29-27 at halftime, thanks to a 20-of-25 effort from the free-throw line in the half.
"Apparently they adjusted to the officiating better than we did," Purnell said. "They went to the line 25 times in the first half. It was frustrating. Any time you guard a team that well, you expect to be leading the game."
Trailing 37-36, Tech went on a 15-4 run to build a 51-41 cushion with 7:02 to go. Allen finished the run with a steal, a layup and free throw, and another layup.
Tech double-teamed Booker, who was 2-of-10 from the field and had seven points, nine below his average.
Clemson had 17 turnovers to Tech's 10. Clemson didn't employ its usual pressure until late, and had just four steals to Tech's 11.
"We didn't run good offense," Greenberg said. "We used all our energy on the defensive side."
Hudson, hindered by a sore foot, had just five points and was 2-of-8 from the field.
Potter 3-10 2-2 11, T.Booker 2-10 3-6 7, Grant 4-7 3-3 11, Smith 2-6 6-6 11, Young 4-11 0-0 10, Johnson 1-4 0-0 2, Stitt 1-6 0-3 3, Narcisse 1-1 0-0 2, Jennings 0-1 0-1 0, D.Booker 1-3 0-0 2, Hill 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 19-62 14-21 59.
VIRGINIA TECH (18-4)
Allen 4-11 5-7 13, Bell 3-4 2-2 10, Davila 1-4 1-2 3, Hudson 2-8 1-2 5, Delaney 5-14 20-23 30, Raines 0-2 0-0 0, Green 0-4 8-8 8, Witcher 0-0 0-0 0, Boggs 0-0 0-0 0, Thompson 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 15-49 38-46 70.
Halftime--Virginia Tech 29-27. 3-Point Goals--Clemson 7-25 (Potter 3-5, Young 2-8, Stitt 1-2, Smith 1-4, T.Booker 0-1, Jennings 0-1, Hill 0-2, Johnson 0-2), Virginia Tech 2-11 (Bell 2-2, Allen 0-1, Green 0-1, Hudson 0-2, Delaney 0-5). Fouled Out--Davila, Grant, Potter. Rebounds--Clemson 47 (Grant 15), Virginia Tech 35 (Allen, Thompson 6). Assists--Clemson 15 (T.Booker, Young 4), Virginia Tech 5 (Delaney 3). Total Fouls--Clemson 30, Virginia Tech 24. A--9,847.