Thursday, March 25, 2010

HOKIES MISS TRAIN TO NEW YORK

Rhode Island (Rams, 19,095 students, Kingston, RI) 79, VIRGINA TECH 72 – Referring to his team’s 17-1 record at home, Coach Seth Greenberg told the Virginia Tech Hokies in the locker room before the game that they were going to win ugly. He was half right.

What he didn’t figure on was an extremely poorly-timed ugly second half scoring drought and a bad ass named Delroy James on the other team.

James scored 18 points (six rebounds, four blocks) and Lamonte Ulmer added 13, including a big basket in the final seconds, to lead Rhode Island past Virginia Tech in the NIT quarterfinal Wednesday night. James scored a career-high 34 points a few nights earlier in the Ram's second-round win over Nevada.

Second-seeded URI (26-9) advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since 1946. In a rare matchups of powder blues, they'll play 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Champions the University of North Carolina Tar Heels on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

No. 1 seed Virginia Tech (25-9) led 60-48 following Malcolm Delaney's two free throws with 14:43 left that capped an 18-8 run to start the second half. But the Rams answered with a 13-0 spurt and took a 61-60 lead with 11:05 remaining on a basket by Ulmer.

Delaney hit one of two free throws with 6.9 seconds left to cut it to 75-72. But the Rams made all four of their free throws the rest of the way to seal it.

Delaney had 24 points for the Hokies, who lost in the NIT quarterfinals for the third straight year. Dorenzo Hudson added 19.

The Hokies, who fell one victory short of setting the school's single-season record, shot better from the floor than the Rams, hitting 48.1 percent (26 of 54) compared to 46.7 percent (28 of 60). But Tech made only two of its final 17 shots.

To read more, click here (HokieSports.com) or click here (Roanoke Times).

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