Saturday, November 24, 2012

Green, Eddie help Hokies stay undefeated

The roommates combine for 50 points as Tech moves to 5-0 with a win over Appalachian State at Cassell Coliseum.

Erick Green drives against Appalachian State on Friday. He scored a career-high 27 points.

DAVE KNACHEL | Virginia Tech

Erick Green drives against Appalachian State on Friday. He scored a career-high 27 points.

Virginia Tech Hokies basketball

Berman Courtside

BLACKSBURG - Erick Green and Jarell Eddie keep giving themselves good things to talk about around the house.

Citing their close relationship on and off the floor, the Virginia Tech teammates and roommates continued to display strong basketball chemistry Friday, combining for 50 points to lead the Hokies past pesky Appalachian State 87-76 in front of 7,094 at Cassell Coliseum.

"It's just the relationship we have," said Green, who finished with a career-high 27 points. "We're always talking about basketball everywhere we go. He's been working on his game tremendously and has improved in the offseason. He's got full confidence now. Coach [James] Johnson's letting him go, and he's letting 'em fly."

And they've been going in at an impressive clip.

Three days after going 7 for 9 from the field and 5 for 5 from 3-point range to score a career-high 28 points against UNC Greensboro, Eddie was scorching again. He went 7 of 9 overall and 4 of 5 from long distance to finish with 23 points.

"It seemed like he didn't miss one shot," Appalachian State coach Jason Capel said. "Jarell Eddie's a North Carolina kid, so I've seen him since he was in high school. I tell you what: He's a helluva lot better now."

The Hokies improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1984, but it wasn't always easy for the 18.5-point favorites.

Tech led by only three points at halftime despite shooting 56 percent from the field. Although the Mountaineers never took the lead in the second half, they did tie the score at 50-50 and trailed by only two with 10:41 remaining.

"We had to make an adjustment," Eddie said. "We were going under ball screens and we had to trap the ball screens รข? Their ability to drive the basketball really gave us a couple problems."

The penetration of Eddie, Green and Robert Brown, along with the inside muscle of C.J. Barksdale and Marshall Wood, helped the Hokies go to the free throw line 39 times. They made 30 of them, with Green extending his streak to 31 in a row over a three-game stretch.

Wood, a freshman out of Rustburg High, finished with 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds in 25 minutes. He's grabbed 19 rebounds over the past two games.

"He's getting better every minute," Johnson said.

The Hokies as a whole will have to follow his lead. The schedule stiffens considerably now, beginning with Iowa's visit Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. A home game against Oklahoma State and a trip to West Virginia loom after that.

"These teams are definitely high caliber," Eddie said. "No discredit to the teams we've played already, but these guys are big-time talent."

Added Green: "We can't just play one half like that. These teams coming up, you've got to play 40 minutes to beat these guys."

Jay Canty scored 21 points to lead four Appalachian State players in double figures.

Green, meanwhile, became the first Tech player since Bimbo Coles in 1989 to score at least 20 points in each of his team's first five games. That threat also increases the opportunities for Eddie, who's taking advantage of them.

"He's really able to penetrate and cause guys to collapse on him," Eddie said. "I'm just going to move to the open spot and he's going to find me and I'm going to knock it down. We coexist really well."

APPALACHIAN ST. (1-4)

Obacha 2-2 1-4 5, Healy 4-8 1-2 11, Hamilton 7-12 0-0 15, Trice 5-15 6-7 19, Canty 8-16 3-4 21, Baskin 2-5 1-4 5, Burgess 0-1 0-0 0, Gilbert 0-0 0-0 0, Spagnolo 0-1 0-0 0, Eaves 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-60 12-21 76.

VIRGINIA TECH (5-0)

Raines 1-3 1-3 3, Eddie 7-9 5-6 23, Barksdale 3-5 4-4 10, Brown 2-8 5-6 9, Green 8-16 11-11 27, Van Zegeren 1-2 0-0 2, Rankin 0-1 0-2 0, Beyer 0-0 0-0 0, Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, Wood 4-8 4-7 13. Totals 26-52 30-39 87.

Halftime-Virginia Tech 41-38. 3-Point Goals-Appalachian St. 8-22 (Trice 3-8, Healy 2-4, Canty 2-5, Hamilton 1-4, Burgess 0-1), Virginia Tech 5-18 (Eddie 4-5, Wood 1-4, Rankin 0-1, Brown 0-3, Green 0-5). Fouled Out-Spagnolo. Rebounds-Appalachian St. 35 (Canty, Healy 7), Virginia Tech 27 (Wood 8). Assists-Appalachian St. 6 (Spagnolo, Trice 2), Virginia Tech 16 (Brown 6). Total Fouls-Appalachian St. 26, Virginia Tech 19. A-7,094.

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