After an 8-1 start to the season, Virginia Tech suffered their first bad loss of the season, falling 78-73 to Georgia Southern Saturday afternoon.
The cold-shooting Hokies simply could not keep up with the Eagles, who shot 43.9 percent from the field, including 11-of-26 from three-point range.
“Tough loss tonight,” said James Johnson, head coach. “(Georgia Southern) came out on fire, making a lot of shots…we didn’t have guys that stepped up.”
The Hokies, now 8-2 on the season, never led in the game. Robert Brown and Cadarian Raines, two players that had been excelling this season, turned in their worst performances of the season.
“Robert Brown didn’t play great, he’s battling the flu, he hasn’t practiced the last couple days and it showed tonight,” Johnson said.
“(Raines) is young in his career of being a starting guy and having to be the focal point on the offensive end,” Johnson said. “Now teams are trying to go at him on the defensive end and he’s got to play through that.”
Tech senior point guard Erick Green led the way for the Hokies with 28 points, his 10th straight game of 20 or more points.
“I’m not going to say it’s embarrassing because I don’t want to take anything away from (Georgia Southern) at all,” Green said. “They came out and beat us fair and square, and that’s just how it is. It’s just a loss that we shouldn’t have.”
The Hokies trailed 35-27 at halftime and were out-rebounded by Georgia Southern 22-20. The Eagles were 3-5 on the season entering Saturday’s contest.
Jarell Eddie, who entered the game shooting 51 percent from three-point range, was just 3-of-13 from behind the arc against GSU.
“Those are shots that have been going down for us,” Johnson said. “They were great looks. Eddie had great look, he had looks that he shot-faked and still was wide open and they didn’t go down.”
Georgia Southern, a member of the Southern Conference, had not beaten a major conference opponent since upsetting South Carolina in the 1992-93 season.
The Eagles were led in the scoring department by their two guards, C.J. Reed and Cleon Roberts, who scored 22 and 20 points, respectively.