ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Malcolm Delaney scored 16 points and made six free throws in the closing minutes, allowing Virginia Tech to rally for a 56-51 victory over Oklahoma State in the 76 Classic on Friday.
Jeff Allen added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Hokies (4-1), who will play Murray State or Nevada Las Vegas for the championship Sunday night."It was one of our tougher games," Delaney said. "But those are the games we like to play."Jean-Paul Olukemi scored a career-high 17 points for the Cowboys (4-1). Marshall Moses added 14 points and 12 rebounds."Our ball-handling and passing are not the best right now," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. "We just don't have anybody stepping up and taking control."The Cowboys led 47-42 with 4:55 to play before Virginia Tech took control. Oklahoma State scored just one point in the next 4:48, as the Hokies moved ahead 54-48 with 16.3 seconds remaining. For the game, Virginia Tech scored 19 points off 16 turnovers."I think we played great defense," Delaney said. "They were trying to get jump shots but they couldn't get clean shots off and they couldn't pound (the ball) down low."Ford added the lack of sufficient timeouts prevented the Cowboys from making adjustments."Normally, you'd like to call a timeout and draw up something to help them get through this," Ford said. "But we used way too many timeouts early that we needed late. We had one left and we needed to save it till a minute to go."With Oklahoma State stifled, the Hokies converted 10 of 12 free throws in the final 2:27."They're a much more experienced team than we are," Ford said. "Their players have been through a lot of wars and their experience showed late in the game."Cowboys forward Matt Pilgrim was ejected with 13:56 to play after a flagrant foul.