Virginia Tech played a poor defensive game and got blown out at home 74-58 by UVA on Thursday night. Tech dropped to 11-7 and 2-3 in the ACC, while the Hoos improved to 13-5 and 3-2.
Erick Green came to play, setting a career high in points (35) and rebounds (9). He was 11-of-18 from the field, 3-of-6 from three-point range, and 10-of-13 from the free throw line. It was the most points scored by an individual player against UVA since J.J. Reddick dropped 40 on them back in 2006.
However, Green didn’t get much help from his teammates. Jarrell Eddie had nine points and nine rebounds, and shot just 2-of-11 from the field. Meanwhile, Robert Brown’s struggles continued. He did not score in 24 minutes, and missed all three of his shot attempts. Green was the only Tech player in double figures.
“He had a phenominal game tonight,” Eddie said of Green following the game. “It’s really frustrating when the supporting cast can’t help him win the game. It’s just really tough, and I’m really frustrated.”
However, it was Tech’s defense that was most disappointing. UVA plays at a very slow pace, and the most points they have scored in an ACC game this season was 62 against UNC. They scored 74 on Tech, despite the slow pace. The Hoos were 26-of-51 (51%) from the field, and 11-of-23 (47.8%) from three-point range. UVA also had 21 assists on 26 made shots, and only six turnovers.
The Hokies were lit up by freshman post player Evan Nolte, who scored 18 points. He was 5-of-9 from three-point range. Joe Harris had 17 points, and he was 4-of-6 from the outside.
“It’s frustrating,” Erick Green said. “I could care less about how many points I scored. It’s about winning. It’s frustrating because we represent the whole school.”
Despite the performance of his teammates, Green backed them up in postgame interviews.
“They had some good shots,” Green said. “The ball just wasn’t falling for them tonight. That’s all. Next game we’ll have a couple of guys step up and make some plays.”
UVA coach Tony Bennett was very complimentary of Green after the game.
“I look at Green’s points, and for the most part I thought we made him earn them,” Bennett said. “But I didn’t realize he had that many…he dropped 35. We didn’t do a good job late, but he’s hard to guard. You just have to try to make him earn them and do a good job on the other guys. For the most part we were in position. Like Wake Forest did, we tried to get the ball out of his hands or push him out as far as possible. But he’s a talent.”
Virginia Tech returns to action on Sunday when they travel to Clemson. Tipoff is scheduled for 1pm, and the game will be televised by The ACC Network.