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Thursday, December 2, 2010
Hokies fall to Purdue in OT
JaJuan Johnson scored 29 points, and Malcolm Delaney went 2 for 18 from the field, as Virginia Tech fell to Purdue 58-55 in an overtime thriller in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, missing out on another opportunity to prove its worth.
"There's a fine line between winning and losing," coach Seth Greenberg said. "Between a good season and a great season. We've got to find a way to get over that line right now."
Johnson, a talented senior from Indianapolis, was 11 for 24 from the field, including a late bucket in the second half to force overtime.
The Boilermakers led at halftime 25-21, as both teams played stellar defensively.
In the second half, Tech responded. The Hokies managed to score 30 points in the half, led by a surprising performance from Victor Davila who had 12 points and six boards for the game.
With what seemed like the entire team playing well, Delaney struggled. The senior star only managed four free throws on the game, four below his average.
"I played horrible," Delaney said. "We missed free throws [15 for 21]. We missed block outs. When we needed second-chance points, we didn't get them. We played hard, but it wasn't good enough."
Dorenzo Hudson continued to struggle, scoring only five points after being held scoreless against UNLV.
Both teams shot below 40 percent for the game. But, VT was the team that failed to make late buckets.
With Tech up 51-49 with less than 30 seconds to go, Johnson got the ball on the post, rising up and shooting over Jeff Allen for the tying bucket. Many question why Allen wasn't more physical on the play. Allen played cautiously, allowing Johnson to get inside for the shot. Delaney put up a contested shot from ten feet at the buzzer that failed.
The visitors held on in overtime as Delaney turned the ball over with three seconds to go, failing to get a shot off.
"We were trying to get the ball to Jeff, but they overplayed him," Delaney said. "So with five seconds left, I just tried to make a quick move."
E'Twaun Moore had 14 points for Purdue.
Jeff Allen led VT with 14 points.
The Hokies (4-3), have lost to three teams who are currently ranked. Next up is a battle with rival Virginia on Sunday at 6 p.m.
"The last time I checked, maybe one team is going undefeated. The rest of us are going to fight and claw and scratch to win games. We've got a small margin of error, but I like our team. I think we're doing some good things, and as we get some guys contributing, we're going to be even better."