Collins Hits for Career High, Hokies Dominate Dukes 77-58

Virginia Tech’s Coleman Collins shook off the after-effects of a subpar performance against Old Dominion and lit up James Madison for a career-high 32 points Monday afternoon, and the Hokies cruised to a 77-58 win over the Dukes in Harrisonburg. Deron Washington added 19 points as the Hokies had their second-best shooting game of the season and were never threatened. With the win, VT finishes the out of conference portion of their schedule at 10-4, while JMU falls to 3-7.

Collins went 13-of-18 from the field and 6-of-9 from the free throw line as JMU had no answer for Tech’s athletic center. Collins’ performance marks the first time a Hokie player has gone over 30 since Bryant Matthews scored 33 against Miami on January 17, 2004, in a 65-59 loss. Washington knocked down 6-of-9 field goals and a team high 7-of-8 free throws. Led by Collins and Washington, the Hokies hit 30-of-51 shots (58.8%), their best performance since shooting 60% (29-of-48) against Radford in the season opener. The Hokies also made 16-of-22 free throws (72.7%), their best percentage in the last five games.

The Hokies knocked down six of their first seven shots in jumping out to a 15-8 lead, and they never looked back. Tech stretched the lead out to 38-22 at half time, with Collins scoring 18 points before the break. JMU could not get Tech’s lead below 14 points in the second half. The Hokies eventually stretched the gap out to 26 points (67-41) with 6:15 to go on a fast break dunk by Collins.

While Collins and Washington were tearing it up, Zabian Dowdell was oddly quiet, taking just three shots and scoring just two points in 39 minutes. Jamon Gordon played another impressive game, scoring seven points, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists against just one turnover. As a team, the Hokies had just eight turnovers, while forcing 17 from James Madison. The only important statistical battle the Hokies lost was the rebounding battle, where JMU outrebounded Tech 36-29 and had an impressive 18 offensive boards. The offensive boardwork enabled JMU to outscore Tech 19-8 on second chance points, keeping the game from being a complete blowout.

Robert Krabbendam once again did not play for the Hokies and appears to be headed for a redshirt. A.D. Vassallo led all Tech reserves (and was third on the team) with nine points in just 11 minutes.

Tech returns to action Saturday at 7 pm against Florida State in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are 9-1 (0-0 ACC). The game will not be televised.