Miami missed three 3-pointers that would have either taken the lead or tied the game with under a minute to play as Virginia Tech won Sunday night in Cassell Coliseum.
Garrius Adams made Miami's eighth shot from behind the arc of the game to cut the Hokies' lead to two with a minute and a half left. At the time, the Hurricanes had made one-third of their 3-point attempts as Tech threw man-to-man and zone defenses against Miami to no avail against its long-range shooting.
However, two missed threes by Adrian Thomas and another by Adams gave the Hokies a much-needed win after their road loss to Georgia Tech during the week. Tech was led by Jeff Allen, who scored 18 points and pulled in 11 rebounds for the second consecutive game.
It was the fourth consecutive game in which Allen grabbed more than 10 rebounds. The senior forward has played arguably his best basketball of the season lately. The famously foul-prone Allen has not fouled out of a game since Dec. 23 against St. Bonaventure, a span of nine games.
Allen's 18 points came on 7-for-12 from the floor as Tech's top two guards, Malcolm Delaney and Erick Green, continued to experience struggles from the floor. Delaney and Green were improved from their game in Atlanta, but still managed to combine for 9-for-22.
Both did manage to get to the line, combining for 7-for-8 and 29 total points. More importantly, the two combined for 10 assists and two turnovers. They were playing against a group of Miami guards that rarely turned the ball over. Delaney and Green's ability to maintain control of the ball was a big factor in Tech's victory.
The Hokies nearly gave away a 10-point halftime lead, but was able to hold on for a win that moves them to 14-6 and 4-3 in the ACC. A loss to the Hurricanes, who are 12-9 and 1-6 in the conference, would have been crippling to their NCAA Tournament chances.
With the win, the Hokies live to fight another day. There are plenty of things they need to work on, like perimeter defense and rebounding, but they will continue arguably the most critical stretch of their ACC schedule at 1-1 with two road games to play. The play of Allen continues to be a positive for the Hokies, but they'll need to do better defensively from here on if they want to win against tougher competition.
Next on Virginia Tech's basketball schedule: 7 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 2 at NC State.