Virginia Tech couldn’t hold on to a halftime lead, falling to Kansas State 69-61 in Cassell Coliseum on Sunday night. The Hokies dropped to 5-3 overall with the loss, while the Wildcats improved to 5-0.
Tech didn’t get good play from a couple of their senior starters. Victor Davila got in foul trouble and had just one point and one rebound, and Kansas State generally dominated the game in the paint with Davila in the game. Dorenzo Hudson had just seven points, his fourth straight game of not scoring in double figures.
Freshman wing Robert Brown paced Tech with 15 points. He was 6-of-17 from the field, but just 2-of-10 from three-point range. Erick Green, banged up with injuries to his foot and shoulder, had 14 points but was only 4-of-17 from the field.
Backup posts Cadarian Raines and C.J. Barksdale were more productive that Victor Davila, and might be on their way to earning more playing time. Raines had six points and five rebounds, while Barksdale finished with six points and four rebounds. Freshman wing Dorian Finney-Smith added six points and seven rebounds.
Freshman point guard Marquis Rankin played in his first college game, scoring two points and dishing out one assist. Sophomore point guard Tyrone Garland did not play as a result of Rankin coming back from knee surgery.
Kansas State outplayed the Hokies early, but Barksdale and Raines came off the bench to give the Hokies a spark with Davila in foul trouble. Tech managed to take a 28-22 lead heading into halftime, but their interior defense was lacking in the second half as they were outscored 47-33. Jamar Samuels had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Kansas State.
The Hokies return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Rhode Island to take on the Rams. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will not be televised.