Virginia Tech sprinted out to a big lead early and then cruised to a 72-56 win over Cal State Northridge to stay in the winners' bracket of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif.
The Hokies led 38-18 at halftime thanks to 12 first-half points by Malcolm Delaney. Delaney finished with 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting and added seven assists. Jeff Allen had his second double-double of the season with 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Dorenzo Hudson led the Hokies with 20 points.
More positives for the Hokies came on defense, where they held Northridge to 33.3 percent shooting and forced 25 turnovers. They also moved the ball well, with 21 assists on 29 made field goals.
The Hokies struggled against the Matadors in the same areas that have been a problem early in the year, outside shooting and rebounding. Delaney was 3-for-6 from behind the arc, but the rest of the team was only 1-for-8. Tech managed just six offensive rebounds and were out-rebounded overall, 32-30.
The Hokies will play in the semifinals of the 76 Classic at 2:30 p.m. EST Friday on ESPN2. They will face Oklahoma State, which beat DePaul, 60-56, behind a career-high 27 points from Marshall Moses. Moses' matchup with Allen will be a key one for the Hokies. In the backcourt, Delaney should be able to drive against OSU's guards, which could lead to him shooting more than three free throws, like he did today against the Matadors.