The Hokies had almost a full week to get rid of any bad taste that lingered from their loss to rival UVa. Whatever they did during that week, it worked as Virginia Tech played to its potential in a 10-point win over Penn State Sunday in Blacksburg.
The Nittany Lions were a perfect opponent for the Hokies to end their three-game losing streak. Penn State lacked a dominant post presence and wasn't an exception 3-point shooting team coming into the game and weren't the best at defending the perimeter.
Tech used all of these things to its advantage, especially Malcolm Delaney. Delaney scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half and had eight assists to lead the Hokies offensively. His hot shooting, particularly late in the first half, helped the Hokies build an 11-point lead at the break.
Penn State's usually unreliable 3-point shooting kept it in the game early. The Lions made six of their first nine 3-point attempts, including one by Talor Battle to cut the Hokies' lead to 32-29 with just over four minutes to go in the half. However, Tech went on a 12-to-4-run to end the half. The run included two 3's by Delaney, the last coming at the first-half buzzer.
Delaney's big game was even more important as guard Dorenzo Hudson sat out after injuring his calf during the week.
The Hokies got double-doubles from Jeff Allen and Terrell Bell. Allen had arguably his best game of the season. He stayed out of foul trouble, committing only one foul in the game and had six assists.
The Hokies' ball movement was vastly improved against Penn State and Allen epitomized it. His six assists were a season-high. Tech finished the game with 20 assists on 30 made field goals and only turned the ball over 10 times.
Tech needed this win after three consecutive losses and got it. They needed Delaney to have a good night shooting to help his confidence and got it. They needed Allen to play with pose and got it. Now they need to take care of business over their next four games and go into the meat of ACC play in full stride instead of limping in.
The Hokies will play their next two games on neutral courts - Mississippi State in The Bahamas and St. Bonaventure in Rochester, NY. Then they'll return home to face USC-Upstate and Mt. St. Mary's before ACC play really gets underway with games against Florida State, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Maryland.
- Black Shoe Diaries has a good breakdown of the game from the PSU perspective.