Hoops: VT Sneak Past Canes in OT 88-83

The Virginia Tech Hokies beat the Miami Hurricanes 88 – 83 in the fifteenth all-time meeting between the two teams and it took an extra five minutes to do it.

"I'm very proud of our kids' effort and how we competed," Miami Coach Frank Haith said. "It was just a hard fought ACC game."

Miami (14 -5, 3-3) led 19 – 12 with 11:14 to play in the first half and looked to be on the way to a double digit lead as the Hokies were struggling to contain the Canes. However, Tech's Malcolm Delaney had other plans scoring 13 of the Hokies (14-5, 4-1) next 24 points to take them into the half down 37 – 36.

In the first half, the Canes were led by Brian Asbury's 13 points. The Miami native got off to a hot start scoring eight of Miami's first 10 points. Asbury continued his success in the second half netting 14 points on the way to a season-high 21.

"Brian's play was huge today in terms of how he came out with confidence and making plays," Haith said. "We need that out of him. I think that's a positive in terms of what's down the road for this team and getting another guy that can score like Brian. It really helps us."

The trio of Delaney, Jeff Allen and A.D. Vassallo led the way for Seth Greenberg's team scoring 30 of the team's 36 first half points.

"Their three guys are always good," Haith said. That's the way they get most of their production in Vassallo, Jeff Allen and Delaney."

Despite the pressure-packed situation, Delaney and Vassallo would not fold as they hit numerous big shots for the Hokies down the stretch. Delaney was a thorn in the Canes' side on the way to a career-best 29 points. Vassallo was just as deadly as 19 of his 28 points came after halftime.

Dwayne Collins was phenomenal for the Hurricanes leading them in scoring with 23 points while shooting 70% from the field.

"I felt like I was in the zone," Collins said. "I felt like I had pressure like I had to score. I knew I was going to get doubled at times and I was going to kick it back out. One of the important possessions that they did double, I kicked it out to A.B. and he hit that big shot for us."

The big moment came after an A.D. Vassallo jumper to stretch the VT lead to three. With 25 seconds to go, Asbury hit his biggest shot of the game, a three-pointer from the left wing to tie the game at 77 and send the Canes to their first overtime of the season.

"The play was really designed for Dwayne to get the ball in the post and score," Asbury said. "He got doubled and skipped it out to me and when I got it I felt I was going to make it."

In overtime, Miami jumped out to an 81 – 77 lead on jumpers by Jack McClinton and Dwayne Collins but then the Hokies took advantage of second chances.

"I thought in overtime when we took a four point lead we gave up two offensive rebounds that gave them life," Haith said. "Inevitably I think that's what hurt us at the end. It was offensive rebounds giving them second shots when we did stop them."

Coming out of a timeout down 83-81, the Hokies turned to their star sophomore and the young point guard delivered with a rainbow three that put Virgina Tech up for good.

"The three Delaney hit when they got the second shot was huge," Haith said. "We had a guy right there in his face and he made the shot."

The Canes are back in action on Tuesday night in Raleigh, NC where they will take on the NC State Wolf Pack. The game tips off at 7:00 PM.

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