Malcolm Delaney scored 22 points to help Virginia Tech beat North Carolina State 77-69 on Wednesday night.
Jeff Allen added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Hokies (15-6, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who dominated the boards early for plenty of extra scoring chances and built a 16-point lead in the first half. They maintained a comfortable margin for most of the night before the Wolfpack made a desperate push to get within six in the final 4 1/2 minutes.
But Delaney and Allen came up with a couple of key baskets to keep the Hokies in control.
It was a welcome second chance for Virginia Tech to make up for its last trip to its neighboring state to the south. On Jan. 13, the Hokies blew a 16-point lead in the first half and lost 64-61 at North Carolina.
Freshman C.J. Leslie scored 18 points for N.C. State (12-10, 2-6), which has lost six of seven games.
With Virginia Tech team protecting a 65-59 lead, Allen hit a hook shot in the lane with about 3 minutes left to push the margin to eight. Then - in a play that seemed to illustrate the Hokies' dominance on the glass - Victor Davila grabbed a missed shot from Delaney from behind Leslie and stuck it in to make it 69-59 with 2:15 left.
Delaney came through, too, hitting a hanging shot over Tracy Smith for a 73-64 lead with 55.5 seconds left. It was a basket that also gave the high-scoring senior his 2,000th career point.
Davila finished with 13 boards to help the Hokies take a 46-35 edge on the glass, though most of that damage came in the first half when they had more offensive boards (14) than N.C. State had total rebounds (12). That helped Virginia Tech take a 19-2 edge in second-chance points late in the half as it repeatedly scored on stickbacks after missed shots or drives to the basket.
N.C. State again played without freshman point guard Ryan Harrow due to an illness, moving senior Javi Gonzalez back into the starting lineup. But as with Saturday's loss to the rival Tar Heels, Harrow's absence became a lesser factor considering the way the Hokies so thoroughly controlled the Wolfpack on the boards to set the tone for the game.
By the time N.C. State answered, it had dug itself too big of a hole.