Virginia Tech took an early 12-0 lead on the road against Maryland and then kept the Terps at arm's length to pick up its first ACC road win of the season.
Sophomore guard Erick Green had a break-out game for the Hokies, scoring a career-high 24 points and had four steals to lead the Hokies. Green showed great athleticism in transition and shot the ball well overall, going 12-for-16 form the field.
Green has now scored in double figures in nine consecutive games since scoring two points in 16 minutes in the Hokies' loss to Virginia. The Hokies are 8-1 in that span and Green's play has been a big reason for their turnaround since losing three consecutive games.
Tech also kept Maryland's Jordan Williams from having an impact on the game. Williams finished with another double-double, but was only 4-for-9 from the field and had his touches limited by Virginia Tech's zone defense and his own lack of movement without the ball. Victor Davila denied entry passes to Williams on several occasions, but Williams didn't do himself or his team any favors.
In addition to keeping Williams from dominating the game, the Hokies' defense also forced 15 turnovers that led to 16 points. It helped lead to several transition bucket for Tech and it finished with 10 fastbreak points.
The Hokies defense did get lackadaisical midway through the second half and left jump shooters open, leading to a mini run by the Terrapins. Cliff Tucker started knocking down threes and knocked Tech's lead down to single digits. However, turnovers and Green's play helped get the lead back to 15 points.
The defense and Green's play overshadowed a great night for Malcolm Delaney in his home state in front of her mother on her birthday. He scored 19 points but just as importantly had seven assists and helped find open guys for easy baskets.
The end result for the Hokies was a big road win they knew they needed.
They came out on fire. Delaney played well for most of the game and distributed the ball. They got a big game from someone other than Delaney or Jeff Allen. Allen came up big by staying out of foul trouble for much of the game and pulled down 10 rebounds. It was a team effort and a team win.
There are plenty of reasons for fans to be optimistic about the Hokies after their win in College Park. If they can avoid head-scratching losses the rest of the way they should make the NCAA Tournament, which is something we never thought we'd be saying after the UVa loss. This team has come a long way and is starting to play up to its potential.
Next on Virginia Tech's basketball schedule: Sat., Jan. 22 vs. Longwood at 7 p.m. EST.