Virginia Tech got starting point guard Erick Green back on Monday night and they steamrolled visiting Monmouth 91-46 in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Florida International upset George Mason in overtime, so the Hokies (2-0) will play the Golden Panthers (1-0) on Tuesday night at 6pm on ESPNU.
The Hokies completely outclassed the Hawks in this game. Tech shot 30-of-48 (62.5%) from the field and 10-of-15 (66.7%) from three-point range. Freshman wing Robert Brown came off the bench to lead the Hokies with 19 points in 30 minutes of action. He was 3-of-6 from three-point range, and made all six of his free throw attempts.
Erick Green started at point guard and scored 11 points in 23 minutes, while dishing out five assists. Tyrone Garland played 19 minutes off the bench, scoring a career-high 18 points. Garland was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field. He knocked down both of his three-point attempts as well.
Dorenzo Hudson scored 18 points for the Hokies, going 7-of-10 from the field with three assists and two steals. Tech forced 15 turnovers, and Hudson was often the recipient on layup drills under Monmouth’s basket following fast breaks.
Freshman wing Dorian Finney-Smith was in foul trouble early and scored just one point, though he did lead the team with seven rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Jarell Eddie started for Tech, and though he played just 18 minutes, he finished with 13 points. Eddie was 4-of-4 from the field, and made all three of his three-pointers and both of his free throws.
The Hokies were good defensively again, though they need to clean it up on the boards. They outrebounded Monmouth 40 to 35, but the Hawks had 17 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points. On Saturday, East Tennessee State had 19 offensive rebounds and 15 second chance points. Thus far, defensive rebounding is the weak spot of this Virginia Tech team, as the Hokies only start one true post player in Victor Davila.
Tech returns to action tomorrow night against Florida International at 6pm. The game will be televised by ESPNU. If the Hokies win, they’ll head to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals of the NIT, where their likely opponent will be #5 Syracuse.