Virginia Tech was blown out 82-52 by VCU in Richmond on Saturday evening. The Hokies dropped to 7-4 with the loss, while the Rams improved to 10-3.
VCU came into this game #1 in the country in forcing turnovers, while Tech has been very poor protecting the basketball so far this season. On paper, this was a big mismatch coming into the game, and that’s exactly how it played out. The Hokies committed 27 turnovers in the game, while the Rams had just seven.
Tech’s starting backcourt was especially bad protecting the ball. Freshman Ben Emelogu had seven turnovers, freshman Devin Wilson had six, and senior Jarell Eddie had five. Emelogu and Eddie paced the Hokies with 12 points each. Joey van Zegeren had four points, five rebounds and three blocks, and played pretty well on the defensive end. However, he got in foul trouble and played just 19 minutes, and the Rams took advantage of his absence.
The game started well for the Hokies. Three-pointers from Marshall Wood and Jarell Eddie gave Tech a 6-0 lead, and then they led 8-6 after a basket by C.J. Barksdale. However, the wheels fell off at that point, as VCU’s “Havoc” fullcourt press wrecked…ummm…havoc on the young Hokie backcourt. The Rams went on a 31-0 run to take a 37-8 lead and never looked back.
Besides the result of the game, the Hokies got more bad news. C.J. Barksdale tried to play through his knee injury, but unfortunately he sprained his ankle and never returned. Now with an ankle and a knee injury, it will likely be quite some time before he’s 100% again.
Look no further than the turnover/steals stats to get an idea of how this game played out…
Steals: VCU 22, VT 3
Turnovers: VCU 7, VT 27
It’s hard to win basketball games when the other team has 20 more possessions.
The Hokies return to action on Saturday, December 28 when they host UNC-Greensboro. Tipoff is scheduled for noon, and the game can be seen online on ESPN3.