Make it four straight losses for Virginia Tech. Tonight, the boston college eagles picked up their first ACC road win since the 2010-2011 season, beating the Hokies 86-75.
What went wrong, you ask? Here’s the stat that explains everything: Virginia Tech committed 17 turnovers and bc converted those into 29 points. The eagles committed just five turnovers and the Hokies didn’t score a single point off of them. And that’s your ball game.
Erick Green, the senior guard from Winchester, a.k.a. the Winchester Rifleman, did his thing, dropping 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Jarell Eddie looks like he’s starting to get some confidence back as he scored 21 points, though he is still struggling from behind the arc, shooting just 2-of-8.
The Hokies got off to a good start and led much of the first half. With 5:35 to go in the opening half, Tech lead 23-17. The eagles proceeded to go on a 15-3 run, that included a 10-0 stretch, to lead at the half, 32-26. The Hokies never recovered.
Tech got close a few times in the second half, but were derailed by turnovers. Trailing by 12 early in the second half, Ranking and Eddie hit back-to-back threes to cut the lead to just six points. After bc missed a shot and Beyer pulled down the rebound, the Hokies fans were on their feet, but a turnover by Eddie led to a three by bc’s Lonnie Jackson and boosted the eagles lead back to nine points.
With seven minutes to play and the Hokies still hanging around, Barksdale scored his final bucket of the night to cut bc’s lead down to three, 61-58. Ryan Anderson missed a shot at the other end Eddie got the rebound, giving the Hokies a chance to tie the game. But Green turned it over and Anderson, who had just missed a shot, converted a fast break layup, putting bc back up by five.
Too many turnovers equals another loss.
I think it’s safe to assume that C.J. Barksdale is out of James Johnson’s doghouse, having served a one-game benching or lack of effort during practice. The sophomore forward not only played tonight, he was in the starting lineup. He scored the games first basket and ended up with six points in 16 minutes of play.
Speaking of the starters, all five (Barksdale, Cadarian Raines, Green, Marquis Rankin, and Eddie) had at least two turnovers tonight. And we’re not talking great defensive plays that led to steals, we’re talking bad passes, poor ball handling, and miscommunication.
Eddie turned the ball over five times, Green had three, and the remaining three starters each had two. The only Hokies that did not commit turnovers were walk-ons Will Johnston (17 minutes) and Christian Beyer (22 minutes).
Joey van Zegeren struggled tonight. He committed three turnovers, but having been on the court for that game, I can tell you that it seemed like much more. He does not have a soft touch around the ball at all. He is capable of making good plays, but not consistently.
Let’s go back to the bench play of Johnston and Beyer. Johnston’s defense continues to be his weakness, but he’s improving. He’s a walk-on playing significant minutes and his progress is evident. And then there’s Beyer, who led the team in rebounding for the second time this season. He pulled down eight boards tonight. This kid is hustling. Again, these are walk-ons.
They’re not as fast, or as skilled, or as big as the scholarship players, but coach Johnson clearly loves their effort and the fans do too. Especially Beyer – that kid goes for every ball.
Next up for the Hokies, a road trip to georgia tech on Saturday. Niemo’s got a parenting class (excuse me while I ROTFLMAO), so you’re stuck with me for the recap. Cope with it. Get it? See what I did there?
There is some good news… this game was NOT a reverse Bear Fight. So there’s that.