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Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 02/16/2011

Terrell Bell and Victor Davila shine in Virginia Tech's win over Maryland

By Mark Giannotto

There is no doubt Virginia Tech's stars, seniors Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen, came through in its 91-83 victory over Maryland on Tuesday night. Delaney finished with a team-high 22 points, including a perfect 14 of 14 from the free throw line. Allen recorded his sixth straight double-double, with 16 point and 11 rebounds.

But if not for the contributions of forwards Terrell Bell and Victor Davila, the Hokies would likely not find themselves ranked No. 59 in the latest RPI rankings or in sole possession of fourth place in the ACC.

Bell's career-high five three-pointers and Davila's 14 points on the interior -- which tied his career high in an ACC game -- kept Virginia Tech afloat while Delaney struggled with his shot and Allen was saddled with some early foul trouble.

It was Bell's fifth three-pointer that gave Virginia Tech its first lead of the second half. In recent days, the Hokies' coaching staff had been emphasizing to Bell, who is Virginia Tech's best defensive player, that he must stay aggressive and become someone on the offensive end that opponents need to worry about.

Bell finished with 16 points Tuesday night, and similar to what the coaching staff intimated, it was largely because the Terrapins oftentimes forgot about him.

"I was just open and it felt good when it was leaving my hands," Bell said. "That corner is a nice little spot for me. Their zone, I think it was a 3-2, I was open all night."

Davila, meanwhile, seemed intent on matching Maryland's Jordan Williams, despite also drawing two early fouls. But primarily guarding Williams, Davila committed just one more foul the rest of the way. It only reinforced the fact that Davila is in the midst of the most impressive stretch of his career, having scored in double figures five times in ACC play this year.

And after this latest win, Coach Seth Greenberg called Davila perhaps the most important important player in the Hokies' zone offense Tuesday night.

"It's really hard to play without Victor Davila," said Greenberg, who told his team to just "survive" when both Allen and Davila found themselves in foul trouble in the first half. "People don't understand the value that he has. ... We're not as good."

The Hokies once again got little help from their bench, but because their five starters combined for 88 of the team's 91 points, it was a moot point. In fact, the starters have scored 241 of the last 249 Virginia Tech points over the past three games.

Now, the Hokies move on to two consecutive winnable road games at Virginia and Wake Forest before the game of the year at home against Duke in less than two weeks. Win all three and Virginia Tech can probably start punching its ticket to the NCAA tournament.

By Mark Giannotto  | February 16, 2011; 10:16 AM ET
 
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