Virginia Tech never trailed, used a late first half run to get up double digits, and then ran away from Rhode Island to win 69-50. The Hokies are 2-0, and VMI will come to town on Thursday night.
Erick Green tied a career high with 25 points, going 8-of-15 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. He had a chance to set a new career scoring record, but he missed two late free throws.
“I think we’ve got a good team,” Green said when asked if the Hokies had been tested yet. “We can’t control who we are playing. As long as we keep going what we’re doing and getting better, I think we can compete with anybody.”
Cadarian Raines came away with his first career double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in 28 minutes. He made all four of his field goal attempts.
“Coach was mad at us [about the rebounding effort against ETSU], man,” Raines said in the lockerroom. “We just want to make sure he’s happy.”
Robert Brown finished with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal, while Jarell Eddie continued his solid play with nine points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
The Hokies blocked a total of nine shots, including four by true freshman Marshall Wood . Tech also committed just nine turnovers, and have just 19 turnovers through two games this season.
C.J. Barksdale struggled again. He made the first basket of the game for the Hokies, but played just 12 minutes, scoring just two points and grabbing one rebound. However, Tech’s backup bigs provided good minutes. Marshall Wood had four points, three rebounds and four blocks, while Joey van Zegeren had two points, six rebounds and a block in 12 minutes of action.
Rhode Island shot just 33.9% from the field, and the Rams were only 1-of-21 (4.8%) from three-point range. The Hokies were 45.6% overall, and 7-of-21 (33.3%) from beyond the arc. Tech also outrebounded Rhode Island 42-37.
Next up, the Hokies face VMI on Thursday night at 7pm in Cassell Coliseum. The Keydets run an uptempo style and like to put up a lot of shots, and with Virginia Tech playing at a faster pace this year, we should look forward to an exciting game on Thursday.
“It’s two styles that are similar,” Robert Brown said of VMI following Monday night’s game. “This is the first year we’ve put that style in, so I guess we are kind of trying to get where they are. But I think defensively we were a little bit better [tonight], so we should be able to hold them. It should be an entertaining game, and definitely a fun game to play in.”