Virginia Tech got another great defensive effort, but once again they couldn’t get consistent play from their role players in a 60-55 loss in Cassell Coliseum on Thursday night. The Hokies are now 11-11 overall and 2-7 in the ACC, while the Terps improved to 17-6 overall and 5-5 in league play.
Erick Green led the Hokies with 29 points on 10-of-23 shooting. He also had three steals in 38 minutes of action. Cadarian Raines had 14 points, five rebounds and five blocks, and limited future NBA player Alex Len to just 10 points and five rebounds. However, Jarrell Eddie and Robert Brown scored just two points each, and combined to go 2-of-17 from the field.
“It’s like the Shawshank Redemption,” James Johnson said after the game, referring to yet another game where some of Tech’s role players couldn’t score. “I love that move, and I watch it every time it’s on. I’ve seen it before.”
Tech held a 27-24 lead at halftime, but the Terps came out hot in the second half to retake the lead. The Hokies were within striking distance for the entire second half, but fell short in the end. The Terps did a good job of denying the ball to Erick Green at the end of the game, and Robert Brown missed a close shot with 35 seconds remaining that would have cut the lead to one point.
“We’ve got to have more guys step up,” Green said. “We’ve got to play harder. 50-50 balls, we’re not hustling. We’re not doing the things we really need to do to win a game. At the end, I’ve got to make more plays. I’ve got to do more to help this team win.”
Green went on to talk about the need for other players to step up.
“As a team, we’ve got to have more guys step up. Rob and Jarell, we can’t have them having less than 10 points. If you give them 10 points in a game, we can win this one by 5 or 6. If we’re going to win a game, two guys can’t just carry us. We have to have three or four guys put points on the board. And guys have to understand it’s not just about points. Rebounding, steals, defensive rebounds. You can score in so many different ways other than just having the ball in your hands. We’ve got to figure that out. Once you get going with a steal or a tip in, that gets you going [in other phases of the game]. Some guys just need to mature a little bit, and who cares if you go 2-for-10? Make other plays. Get steals, get rebounds, do something else other than just worrying about scoring.”
Virginia Tech returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Georgia Tech at 1pm. The game will be televised by RSN, and can be watched online on ESPN3.