The Hokies did it. For the first time in 30 years, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team has started a season 7-0 after handing No. 15 oklahoma state its first loss of the season, 81-71.
For the third time this season, senior guard Erick Green scored a career-high, notching 28 in today’s win over the cowboys, despite missing big chunks of time in the first half because of foul trouble.
Junior forward Jarrell Eddie continues to be solid as he recorded a his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Robert Brown also had another good game, dropping 18 points for the second contest in a row. What can Brown do for you? How about score in double figures in six of seven games this season and average 13.4 points a game? Not too shabby, huh?
Things got off to an auspicious start for the Hokies when Green got called for a foul a mere :10 after the opening tip. Then, as if he were channeling his inner Jeff Allen, Green was called for his second foul at the 2:16 mark and immediately went to the bench, with Tech leading 7-4.
Prior to Green’s second foul, the Hokies lead 7-2, but the cowpokes got on their horses and galloped to a 12-7 lead by virtue of a 12-2 run. Green re-entered the game and stopped the osu run with a jumper to cut the deficit to 12-9. From there, it was a back and forth battle.
Tech used a 7-0 run to take a 16-14 lead, but osu came right back and led for most of the first half, twice taking 8-point leads. Brown bailed out the Hokies with four points in the final minute to cut the cowpoke’s lead to four at the break, 36-32.
Green came out strong in the second half scoring the Hokies’ first 10 points and tying the game at 42 to keep osu from pulling away. And while the score was relatively close for the entire half, the Hokies took the lead with 15 minutes to play and never trailed again.
With the game tied at 46, Eddie drilled a three pointer to put Tech ahead for good, though it was a nailbiter the rest of the way.
Having already channeled his inner Big Donut (Jeff Allen), Green also channeled his inner Malcolm Delaney and sealed the victory with ruthless free throw shooting, going 8-for-8 in the final 1:16.
True freshman Marshall Wood scored 8 points, his second highest total of the season, and six of those points came from the charity stripe. Wood hit three crucial free throws in the final three minutes after having drawn a pair of blocking fouls against osu.
This was a team win if there ever was one. While the young guys made a few mistakes, they also made significant contributions in this game.
I noted this in one of my many (many) Tweet (@TechHoops), but it bears repeating: someone get Wood and Joey vanZegeren some red meat and show them where the weight room is! Those guys are capable of making plays in the paint, but more often than not, they’re getting pushed around or outmuscled for loose balls.
They’re young and they’ll hopefully fill out, but right now they’re almost too frail to play a grueling ACC schedule.