- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 28, 2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. | Malcolm Delaney leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring and is Virginia Tech’s go-to guy. He’s also happy to share that responsibility.

Delaney scored 27 points Thursday night, Dorenzo Hudson added 18 and J.T. Thompson had 15 of his 17 in the second half, helping the Hokies make a huge rally in regulation, shake off a desperation 3-pointer by Virginia that forced overtime and then win 76-71 in the OT.

“It makes it easier for me, and that’s how everybody else gets confidence,” Delaney said of teammates being given the chance to contribute on offense with the game on the line.

“When I don’t have to do everything and I feel like I can rely on my teammates instead of them relying on me, it just makes the team better. Somebody new steps up every day,” he said.

Thompson set a new career high in ACC play, and added seven rebounds. He scored the basket that seemed to give the Hokies the victory in regulation, then added seven points in the overtime, plus a big steal after his back-to-back layups gave the Hokies a 4-point lead.

“That might be one of my best 10 minutes,” he said of the game’s final 10 minutes.

The Hokies (16-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 62-52 with 3:44 left in regulation before scoring the next 13 points. Sammy Zeglinski then made a contested 25-footer for Virginia (12-6, 3-2) as the clock raced toward 0:00 in regulation, tying the game.

In the overtime, Delaney hit an 18-footer and a free throw, Thompson scored on a bank and, after Zeglinski hit a 3-pointer for Virginia, Thompson scored inside. He then knocked the ball away from Zeglinski for a turnover, was fouled and made two more free throws.

The victory, which followed one against Boston College in which the Hokies got the winning basket in the final 10 seconds, was bigger because it came on Virginia’s floor.

“With three minutes left, who would think we still have a chance down 10?” Thompson said.

Mike Scott led Virginia with 21 points and Sylven Landesberg had 18, but neither did much down the stretch, and Landesberg had a turnover and missed a free throw, giving the Cavaliers two empty possessions in the overtime before Thompson’s steal sealed the outcome.

The loss was the second in a row for Virginia after a surprising 3-0 start in league play, and Zeglinski said the team needs to learn to stay calm in the closing minutes.

“We’re going to be in the situation again,” he said.

The Hokies appeared to have the game won in regulation, leading 65-62 in the final seconds, but Zeglinski hit his long shot over Delaney with about 1 second left to tie it.

It was Zeglinski’s first field goal in two games, the point guard having missed all five of his shots in a loss at Wake Forest on Saturday and his first three against the Hokies.

The shot canceled a spectacular comeback by the Hokies. They trailed 62-52 with 3:44 to play, but outscored Virginia 13-0 over the next 3:43 before Zeglinski’s bomb went in. Delaney had six in the rally, and Thompson four, including the driving shot that gave them the lead.

But the Hokies never flinched, and took it to the Cavaliers again in the OT.

They also did much of it without Jeff Allen, their No. 3 scorer and best rebounder.

Allen was ejected with 13:41 to go when he was called for a flagrant foul for elbowing Jeff Jones in the scramble for a loose ball. Referee Karl Hess said later that because the foul did not occur during a fight, Allen is unlikely to face any additional ACC penalty.

Allen also missed the Hokies game at John Paul Jones Arena last year after the school suspended him for making an obscene gesture to fans in their previous game at Maryland.

The Hokies managed only six points in a span of nearly 10 minutes in the first half, but Virginia hardly capitalized, scoring just 14 points in that time to open a 22-10 advantage.

After Erick Green ended the Hokies’ drought with their first 3-pointer, Landesberg went to the Virginia bench with his second foul and Virginia Tech took the lead with an 18-4 run.

Hudson had seven points in the burst and Delaney had four.

Mustapha Farrakhan’s reverse layup at the buzzer pulled the Cavaliers within 28-27.

The Hokies coaching staff wore maroon ribbons in remembrance of Morgan Harrington, a Virginia Tech student who disappeared from outside John Paul Jones Arena while attending a Metallica concert on Oct. 17. Her remains were found Tuesday about 10 miles away.

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