Erick Green came off the bench to lead the Hokies with 24 points, Cadarian Raines scored a career-high 12 points, and Marquis Rankin made his first career start as the Hokies shook off a sluggish first half to beat rhode island 78-67.
Green, a junior guard, started the game on the bench because of “the manner in which he was carrying himself.” Sounds like someone was getting a little too big for his britches, but when you’re the Mean Green Machine, can you blame him? Whatever he did to draw the ire of Greenberg, starting the game on the bench seemed to motivate MGM, because his 24 points led all scorers and was a bucket shy of setting a new personal best.
Dorian Finney-Smith had 11 points, the fifth time this season he’s reached double figures. Meanwhile, fellow freshman Robert Brown had an off game for him, registering only two points. After scoring 15 points against kansas state and 13 against minnesota, UPS didn’t quite deliver tonight, but as a freshman, you can’t expect double digits every night. He’s already shown that he can play big time ball, so he just needs more playing time.
The Hokies and rams both started off slow offensively, but that’s probably because of the defense both teams play. Tech fell behind early, 7-0, but used a 9-2 run to pull even. Raines was a lot more aggressive on the boards tonight and scored the 6 of the Hokies’ first 11 points. Doe Doe’s first six points were three pointers, one of which gave Tech its first lead of the game.
Tech built a 7-point lead, 24-19, but allowed the rams to stay close and ended up with just a 1-point lead at the half, 28-27.
The second half featured a lot more offense. The Hokies nearly doubled their first half points total, outscoring rhode island 50-40. Sophomore Jarrell Eddie got hot in the second half including a key sequence in which he blocked a shot by the rams and then went down at the other end and buried three pointer. Eddie scored 15 points, two shy of his career best. Eddied was 5/6 from the field including a perfect 3/3 from behind the arc.
The Hokies pulled away late in the second half and put it away down the stretch. The first half was interesting, but Tech was too much for the struggling rams.
Two more disappointing performances from senior Victor Davila who put up a big donut in just 13 minutes while fellow senior Dorenzo Hudson managed just 8 points. Raines, if he can stay healthy, could probably take most of Davila’s minutes as he did tonight. Raines was 6/8 from the field in a career-high 25 minutes of play.
The Hokies return to the Cassell Coliseum to face norfolk state on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN3.