GREENSBORO, N.C. – Despite shooting 56 percent from the floor for the game, 29 turnovers wound up being the demise of UNCG as the Spartans fell to No. 22 Virginia Tech, 92-70, Sunday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Malcolm Delaney paced the visiting Hokies (2-1) with a game-high 23 points, nine of those points coming in the opening eight minutes of the contest to erase an early UNCG lead. Jeff Allen and Dorenzo Hudson were also in double figures for Virginia Tech with 17 points each as the Hokies bounced back from a loss earlier this week at third-ranked Kansas State.
The Spartans (0-3) were led by sophomore Kyle Randall, who had 15 points, and freshman Aloysius Henry, who posted 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field. Korey Van Dussen was also in double figures with 11 points. Freshman Trevis Simpson made his debut, returning from a shoulder injury to score eight points, all of them coming in a 46-second span in the first half.
The 29 turnovers were the most by the Spartans since Feb. 15, 1999, when they turned it over 29 times in a loss at VMI.
The Spartans came out strong out of the gates as a pair of Henry jumpers helped UNCG take an early 6-1 lead at the 17:36 mark. Less than four minutes later, a jumper by Van Dussen gave the Spartans their biggest lead of the afternoon at 12-5.
The UNCG lead didn't last long, though, as Virginia Tech responded with a 15-2 run over the next three minutes to go ahead 20-14 on a layup by Hudson. The Spartans cut the Hokie lead to 24-20 on a layup by Randall, but Virginia Tech ran off the next six points to take its first double-digit lead of the game.
The Hokies extended their lead to 15 - the largest of the first half - on a dunk by Allen with 3:35 to go. UNCG trimmed the margin down to seven before Virginia Tech took a 43-32 lead into the locker room at half.
UNCG held tough to open the second half as a 3-pointer by Randall made it a 10-point game at 49-39. But that's as close as the home squad would come as the Hokies extended their lead to 20 points on a dunk by Green with 8:28 remaining in the game.
UNCG is now 0-25 all-time against AP Top 25 teams since moving to Division I in 1991. The Spartans looked for a while like they may make a game of it and give the Hokies a scare, something they haven't to a Top 25 foe since December 2003, when they lost by just eight at 10th-ranked Missouri.
The games was marred by 54 fouls committed during the game, including a staggering 37 in the second half alone. That resulted in 70 free throws for the teams.
The Spartans committed 16 of their 29 turnovers in the first half, but shot 61.9 percent from the floor to only trail by 11 at the break.
Virginia Tech outscored UNCG 44-16 in the paint and held a 37-10 margin in points off turnovers to offset UNCG's shooting.
The Spartans return to action after Thanksgiving on Saturday as they hit the road to face East Carolina at 5 p.m.
VIRGINIA TECH 92, UNCG 70
VIRGINIA TECH (2-1) Malcolm Delaney 8-12 6-6 23; Jeff Allen 6-10 5-8 17; Dorenzo Hudson 6-10 5-6 17; Erick Green 3-9 3-4 10; Victor Davila 2-2 5-9 9; Manny Atkins 2-3 2-2 7; Ben Boggs 1-1 2-2 5; Terrell Bell 1-4 1-2 3; Jarell Eddie 0-2 1-2 1; Tyrone Garland 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-54 30-41 92.
UNCG (0-3) Kyle Randall 4-5 5-6 15; Aloysius Henry 7-8 0-4 14; Korey Van Dussen 4-5 2-2 11; Trevis Simpson 2-7 2-3 8; Brandon Evans 2-4 2-3 7; Brian Cole 2-4 2-2 6; Cody Henegar 2-4 1-1 5; Aaron Brackett 0-1 3-4 3; David Williams 0-3 1-4 1; Elhanan Bone 0-0 0-0 0; Darrius Sellers 0-0 0-0 0; Drew Parker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-41 18-29 70.
Halftime: Virginia Tech 43-32. 3-point goals--Virginia Tech 4-16 (Erick Green 1-3; Ben Boggs 1-1; Malcolm Delaney 1-4; Manny Atkins 1-2; Terrell Bell 0-3; Jarell Eddie 0-1; Dorenzo Hudson 0-1; Jeff Allen 0-1), UNCG 6-10 (Trevis Simpson 2-3; Kyle Randall 2-2; Korey Van Dussen 1-2; Brandon Evans 1-1; Aaron Brackett 0-1; Cody Henegar 0-1). Fouled out--Virginia Tech-None, UNCG-Brian Cole; David Williams. Rebounds--Virginia Tech 29 (Jeff Allen 7), UNCG 28 (Aaron Brackett 6). Assists--Virginia Tech 12 (Malcolm Delaney 4), UNCG 9 (David Williams 3). Total fouls--Virginia Tech 26, UNCG 28. Technical fouls—Virginia Tech-None, UNCG-None. A-3734
FREE THROWS: The Spartans finished the day 23-for-41 from the field… Simpson played 10 minutes in his first appearance of the season after a shoulder injury slowed him in the preseason… The Spartans managed to hold their own on the glass again. The Hokies held a 29-28 advantage in rebounding.
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