Virginia Tech outplayed Mississippi State in every way possible on Saturday night, blowing out the Bulldogs 88-57 in the Bahamas. The Hokies improved to 6-4 with the win, while Mississippi State dropped to 7-3.
Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury summed up the game perfectly.
“We did not execute,” MSU head coach Rick Stansbury said. “Give Virginia Tech credit. They out-worked us, out-toughed us, out-coached us. They beat us in every single phase of the game.”
Besides the obvious advantage on the scoreboard, Tech outrebounded the Bulldogs 39-24 despite Jeff Allen only playing 16 minutes because of foul trouble. Despite the limited minutes, Allen finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hokies started Erick Green at point guard for the second straight game, and he finished with 11 points, six assists and three steals in 38 minutes. He did not commit a turnover. Dorenzo Hudson came off the bench to play 23 minutes, and scored 17 points. He had scored just 18 total points in his previous four games.
Malcolm Delaney played most of his 35 minutes at shooting guard, and he led the Hokies with 19 points. He was 5-of-12 from the field, and 3-of-8 from three-point range. He also pulled down five rebounds.
For the second consecutive game, Tech’s ball movement was crisp. They finished with 17 assists and 10 turnovers, after having 20 assists and 10 turnovers against Penn State. Mississippi State turned the ball over 16 times, and had just 10 assists.
Tech got great production from their bench. Besides Dorenzo Hudson’s 17 points, Manny Atkins also scored a career-high 10 points in 13 minutes. He was 4-of-6 from the field, and hit both of his free throw attempts. Ty Garland played the last five minutes of the game and scored four points.
The game also marked the debut of McDonald’s All-America Renardo Sidney for Mississippi State. He was suspended all of last season and the first nine games of this season by the NCAA. He scored 12 points and had three rebounds in 25 minutes against Tech, but was obviously out of shape, as the Hokies beat him and his teammates up the court numerous times.
For the game, the Hokies were 30-of-60 (50%) from the field, 9-of-25 (36%) from three-point range, and 19-of-23 (82.6%) from the free throw line. They were a blazing hot 58.6% from the field in the first half.
Tech also did a great job on the defensive glass, allowing the bigger Mississippi State team to grab only five offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs had just four second chance points. Mississippi State was also not particularly good in transition, and didn’t score any points off of Tech’s 10 turnovers.
The Bulldogs led 2-0, but that was their only lead of the game. This was a complete blowout for the entire 40 minutes, with Tech holding a 44-27 lead at halftime. In the second half they never took their foot off the gas, leading by as much as 33 points when Ty Garland hit a three-pointer to make the score 87-54.
This was a solid win over a team that played for the SEC Championship last season. Once Sidney gets healthy, and the Bulldogs return the services of starting guard Dee Bost, they have the potential to be one of the top teams in the SEC.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Thursday night against St. Bonaventure in Rochester, NY. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will not be televised.