|Virginia Tech 89, Fordham 70
Wednesday, February 4th, 1998
|The Hokies blistered the nets for 38-of-57 shooting (66.7%, the sixth best shooting
percentage game in A-10 history) and downed an untalented Fordham team at Cassell Coliseum
to break a seven-game losing streak.
One highlight of the game was the play of Tech's guards, led by Jenis Grindstaff's 19 points and 10 assists, one of which was a 20-foot bounce pass through traffic to Brendan Dunlop for a fast-break layup. Jenis continues to amaze at times. He shot well, going 4-6 from behind the arc.
The other highlight of the game was a monstrous thunderdunk by little-used reserve David Whaley with 2.9 seconds to go. Whaley swept down the baseline and absolutely tomahawked the ball over a Fordham player, no doubt giving vent to his frustration at his lack of playing time. Whaley is one of those "Gee, we've got to get him in the game" guys that never seems to, uh ... get in the game. At the very least, he pulled off one of the most memorable plays of the season.
Although Tech played well offensively and has a lot to be happy about, Fordham is pretty bad, folks. They've only got two guys who can play, a guard named Kevin Robin (27 points) and a forward named Curtis (17 points). Other than that, they have the look of a mid-level Big South team (sorry, Radford, no insult intended). The Rams did a great job of screening at the top of the key to spring Robin open, and he responded by raining threes down on the Hokies, keeping the score respectable. But make no mistake about it, the Hokies controlled this one from start to finish.
For the Hokies, Rolan Roberts (7 points) and Russ Wheeler (8 points) were pretty mediocre, although Rolan had some nice blocks, including a backboard-rocking block on a Fordham breakaway. Russ was frustrated again by a few ticky-tacky hand-check fouls and was not much of a factor. Eddie Lucas shot well and with confidence, and Andre Ray used his athletic ability to slash to the middle and create some offense.
I can't let this game report end without giving a big thumbs down to Myron Guillory for not giving the ball up in the last two minutes. Tech emptied the bench with just under two minutes to go, putting in Jermaine Kilgore, Whaley, and ... Sean Floyd. That's right, the walk-on got in the game.
In these situations, it's customary for the veterans and stars to give the ball up to the scrubs, but Guillory proceeded to take Tech's next two shots, and Whaley's dunk with under three seconds to go was the only shot taken by the bench-warmers. Shame on you, Myron. Sean Floyd, for one, will probably not play the rest of the year and should have gotten at least one shot for all his hard work in practice.
Tech's next game is Sunday against Temple. The Owls are always tough defensively, and in their last game, they held UMass in the 40's. Will the Hokies even be able to score 40 against Temple's vaunted matchup zone defense? We'll see.
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