Despite a sloppy start to the game, the men’s basketball team took out Eastern Michigan in convincing fashion on Thursday night, 71-50, for their fifth straight win.
"I’m pleased with the win," said Seth Greenberg, head coach. "I’m pleased to be 10-3. It was good to get a number of different guys in the game."
*Players were not available after the game due to an altercation from the previous night involving senior Dorenzo Hudson and the football team's kicker, Cody Journell. Greenberg refused to comment on the situation after the game, saying only that: "Dorenzo Hudson was not charged with anything, and he’s a member of good standing on our basketball team."
The Hokies committed six turnovers in the first twelve minutes, allowing the Eagles to remain within two points until point guard Erick Green, who led the team with 12 points, got the transition offense going with a three-point play with six and a half minutes remaining in the first half.
For the rest of the half the Hokies were the only offense present in Cassell Coliseum, as they went on a 13-0 run, ending the half with a 27-9 lead.
"I thought the first nine minutes were painful, but once we got out in transition, and then we continued to guard, they went a significant amount of time without a field goal," Greenberg said.
The actual amount of time the Eagles went without a point was 13:38, ranging from the 11:22 mark in the first half to the 17:44 mark in the second half.
Eastern Michigan's nine first half points were the second-lowest total in the nation so far this year and the lowest Tech has allowed in a half since joining the ACC.
Their lack of numbers were due to both poor shooting and an aggressive Tech defense. The Eagles shot just 14 percent from the field in the half, and their leading scorer, Darrell Lampley, had just three points.
Greenberg gave a lot of credit to his big men's defense after the game.
"I thought Victor (Davila) and Cadarian (Raines) overall there, low post defense, was terrific," Greenberg said. "I thought they were physical against (Syracuse transfer Da'Shonte) Riley, who was a big-time recruit."
The Hokies continued to dominate the game in the second half, never letting Eastern Michigan get within 20 points after the first minute of play
Just minutes into the second half it looked as though Green had re-tweaked his ankle from the Oklahoma State game going for a loose ball, but walked it off and stayed in the game. He showed no further signs after that point.
Freshmen Robert Brown and Marquis Rankin shined from behind the arc, shooting for a combined 5-9. Greenberg was pleased that so many different players received significant playing time.
"I think we’ve got a number of different guys contributing, we had nine guys play significant, double-figure minutes, we didn’t wear anyone out, and no one got hurt," Greenberg said.
When Green was on the bench Rankin ran the point extremely well, breaking Eastern Michigan’s full court press while committing only two turnovers.
C.J. Barksdale dominated down low with a game-high ten rebounds in the eighteen minutes he was on the court. He also added six points, two of which coming from a thunderous dunk off a Davila miss.
"I was really proud of CJ," Greenberg said. "He has not practiced the last two days from of his ankle injury. I thought he responded and was active in rebounding the ball."
The Hokies now travel to Oklahoma State, who they beat in the NIT Season Tip-Off 59-57, for a rematch on New Year’s Eve at noon.