The Hokies hung in the game early, but #1 Michigan State pulled away in the late first half and won 96-77 in Brooklyn on Friday night. Tech dropped to 3-2 with the loss, and the Spartans improved to 5-0.
The Hokies played with Michigan State early on, and even led 20-14 with 9:57 remaining in the first half. However, turnovers and poor defense were their eventual downfall, as the Spartans went on a big run to end the first half and led 46-33 at the intermission.
Sophomore guard Adam Smith led Tech with 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting, including 4-of-9 from three-point range. 24 of his 27 points came in the final 10:27 of the game when the Hokies were already down 69-39.
Senior forward Jarell Eddie kept the Hokies in the game early. He finished with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a 6-of-9 mark from three-point range. Dating back to the VMI game, Eddie has made 11 of his last 14 three-point attempts.
Besides Tech’s defense, or lack thereof, the biggest difference in this game was turnovers. The Hokies had 13 assists, but they turned the ball over 17 times. Meanwhile Michigan State had a 23-6 assist-to-turnover ratio.
C.J. Barksdale added eight points and seven rebounds for Virginia Tech.
The Hokies return to action on Saturday night in the consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. They play Seton Hall at 7pm on TruTV.