This game was over before you could say “ram brutality”. Tech jumped out to a 13-0 lead thanks to good low post play and fantastic defense and cruised to a 69-50 victory, just missing another Bear Fight (my liver is happy).
C.J. Barksdale, who had just one shot in the opener and 0 points, hit a jumper on Tech’s first possession. All five VT starters would score before the rams scratched and Tech never looked back. uri got within 4 in the first half but a late 8-0 put Tech up 36-24 at the break. The rams never got within single digits in the second half.
The Hokies were led by Erick Green’s 25 points. The senior was 8/15 from the field and 4/7 from the arc.
Robert Brown added 12 and Cadarian Raines looked much improved from Game 1, adding 10 points and a game high 12 rebounds. Jarell Eddie just missed double digits with 9 points and 8 rebounds (he had a double-double in the opener).
Big props to freshman Marshall Wood who played 28 minutes (Barksdale played just 12) and had 4 points and 4 blocks! But Wood needs to stop shooting from outside as much – he was 0/5 tonight and is 0/8 from deep on the year. But he played tough inside and can finish around the rim. JvZ also added 6 rebounds in 12 minutes.
Tech shut down Nikola Malesevic, who had 26 in the rams’ opener and 24 against VT last year. Nikola had just 6 points and 1 made FG in this game. Xavier Munford, who was 3/19 from the floor in their opener, scored 24 points. He is now 3/19 on the year from long range (stop shooting 3s!!!), but was 10/13 inside the arc and killed the Hokies off the drive.
Tech cleaned up a few of the things I didn’t like in the first game (rebounding and post play), but I’ll get to that more in Niemo’s Bourbon Breakdown.