The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team got a double-double from Coleman Collins and swatted aside the Morgan State Bears 77-49 on Friday night in Cassell Coliseum. Collins, who missed the last two games due to family issues, scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Collins was one of five Hokies to score in double figures for the game.
Deron Washington led the Hokies in scoring yet again. The sophomore forward from New Orleans had 16 points and shot 6-of-10 from the field. He was also 4-of-5 from the free throw line. As usual, he provided the crowd with some quality entertainment, recording several highlight reel dunks.
Junior guard Zabian Dowdell had a solid game for the Hokies as well. Dowdell scored 13 points and hit two of his three attempts from three-point range. He led the team in assists with five and also had a steal. His backcourt mate, junior guard Jamon Gordon, had 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.
Freshman small forward A.D. Vassallo scored in double figures for the second time in his young career. He finished with 12 points, going 4-of-7 from three-point range. He also added three rebounds, an assist and a block in 17 minutes of action.
Morgan State would take a 2-0 lead on a jumper by Timothy Mathis early in the game, but it would be the only time they would hold the advantage on the scoreboard during the contest. The Hokies responded by going on an 11-0 run that was capped by a Zabian Dowdell three-pointer with 16:15 remaining in the first half. Tech led 11-2 and the rout was on.
Virginia Tech gradually extended its lead through the remainder of the first half. A.D. Vassallo hit three-pointer with 10:17 remaining to put Tech up 20-8. Later in the half the Hokies extended their lead to 21 on a jumper by Coleman Collins. Tech led 34-13 with 2:23 left in the half following Collins‘ shot. The Bears cut the lead to 34-17, but Collins tipped in a Zabian Dowdell miss at the buzzer to send the game to the intermission with the Hokies leading 36-17.
The Hokies would come out running on all cylinders in the second half. They went on a 15-3 run that spanned the first 4:56 of the half to take a 51-20 lead with 15:04 remaining in the game. The run featured five dunks, including a spectacular play by Deron Washington. Washington got a steal in the backcourt, put a spin move on a hapless Morgan State defender and scored on high-flying dunk that brought many fans in Cassell Coliseum to their feet.
The 15-3 run was capped by a steal and breakaway dunk by Markus Sailes, who scored his only two points of the game on the play. From that point on, the Hokies put things in cruise control and coasted to the victory, leading by as many as 33 points. Morgan State actually outscored the Hokies 29-26 for the remainder of the game. Seth Greenberg emptied his bench early, with little-used guard Marcus Travis entering the game with over ten minutes remaining.
The only downside to the game was an injury suffered by Zabian Dowdell. With 6:14 remaining, Dowdell hit a three-pointer, but was knocked to the floor on the play. He had to be helped off the court and was in obvious pain with an injury to his right leg. He appeared to be better following the game, walking off the court under his own power and in no apparent pain. Bill Roth and Seth Greenberg did not mention the injury in the radio broadcast following the game.
With the victory, the Hokies improve to 5-1 on the season. Morgan State drops to 0-5. The Hokies will play again on Monday night when they participate in their first-ever ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Tech will play at Ohio State in the opening game of the challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 and the game will be televised by ESPN2.