Monday, February 25, 2013

Virginia Tech men finally end losing streak with win over Florida State

Nine Tech players score to help out leading scorer Erick Green against Florida State.

Virginia Tech forward Cadarian Raines (4) shoots against Florida State on Sunday. Raines finished with four points.

Daniel Lin | The Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech forward Cadarian Raines (4) shoots against Florida State on Sunday. Raines finished with four points.

Virginia Tech guard Erick Green dunks against Florida State on Sunday. Green had 26 points.

Daniel Lin | The Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech guard Erick Green dunks against Florida State on Sunday. Green had 26 points.

Virginia Tech Hokies basketball

Berman Courtside

BLACKSBURG -- The skid is over.

The Virginia Tech men's basketball team snapped a nine-game losing streak with an 80-70 win over Florida State on Sunday night at Cassell Coliseum.

"You go through a streak like this ... it's a great feeling [to win]," said Robert Brown, who had 11 points off the bench. "When you have losses, it definitely weighs on you.

"Hard work, it pays off in the end."

Erick Green had 26 points and five assists for the last-place Hokies (13-15, 3-11 ACC), who led the entire second half.

Tech won for the first time since Jan. 19.

"No team wants to get in the routine of losing," said C.J. Barksdale, who had 17 points and nine rebounds.

The win put an end to Tech's longest losing streak since a 10-game skid in the 2001-02 season.

"It's definitely a relief," Tech coach James Johnson said. "It tells a lot about this team, how they kept on grinding.

"We needed it."

Green finally got help from his teammates. Nine Hokies scored.

"We didn't expect to give some of the other players as many easy opportunities as they did [get]," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said of Green's supporting cast.

Barksdale had a career-high number of points, while Brown scored his most points since the Hokies' ACC opener. Marquis Rankin added eight points before getting sick and missing most of the second half.

"The best feeling is seeing these guys step up," Green said. "I wanted to get them more involved. I wanted to find them, get their confidence going. â? A lot of times they doubled me, so when they double me, I can just kick out to the other guys.

"They're finally hitting shots."

It was the Hokies' most points in an nonovertime game since their Dec. 1 upset of Oklahoma State. Tech scored 52 points in the second half, its highest total in any half since December 2011.

Tech shot 50 percent from the field, its best percentage since its second ACC game of the season.

The Hokies shot 59.1 percent in the second half.

"They made the adjustment to driving and attacking the basket," Hamilton said.

FSU (14-13, 6-8) cut the lead to 51-47 with 9:12 to go, but Green went on a personal 7-2 run to extend the cushion to 58-49 with 6:15 remaining.

"I was just trying to find ways to get the ball and just try to take over the game," Green said. "The whole game I was kind of just being the facilitator. â? They came close, I just wanted to take over."

Green was 8 of 17 from the field, including 4 of 7 in the second half, and 9 of 9 from the free-throw line.

"He's just a handful," Hamilton said. "He made about three or four real tough shots that we couldn't let any of our players on our team even take.

"Some of those floaters that he makes, I can't imagine how he practices those shots."

The Hokies were 25 of 30 from the free-throw line, their second-best percentage (83.3 percent) of the season.

"Wow!" Green said.

FSU, the ACC leader in free-throw percentage, was just 13 of 23.

With less than four minutes to go, Johnson urged the Hokies to "Finish."

"That's what we haven't done in the past," Brown said. "Today we were finally able to finish and pull it off."

With Tech leading by just seven points, FSU began fouling when there was still 2:37 to go.

"It was weird," Green said.

"We just thought that we'd roll the dice," Hamilton said.

But the Hokies sealed the win by making 18 of 20 free throws the rest of the way, including a stretch of 17 straight without a miss.

Okaro White had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Seminoles. But FSU's best player, guard Michael Snaer, was just 2 of 9 from the field.

FLORIDA ST. (14-13)

White 5-7 6-7 18, Ojo 1-1 0-0 2, Bookert 5-9 2-3 14, Snaer 2-9 3-6 8, Thomas 4-10 1-4 10, Brandon 0-0 1-2 1, Turpin 4-5 0-1 8, Gilchrist 0-1 0-0 0, Bojanovsky 2-2 0-0 4, Miller 2-11 0-0 5. Totals 25-55 13-23 70.

VIRGINIA TECH (12-15)

Raines 2-3 0-2 4, Barksdale 4-6 9-11 17, Rankin 3-5 0-0 8, Green 8-17 9-9 26, Johnston 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 4-8 2-2 11, Van Zegeren 1-2 1-1 3, Beyer 1-1 0-0 2, Eddie 0-2 4-4 4, Wood 2-5 0-1 5. Totals 25-50 25-30 80.

Halftime-Virginia Tech 28-26. 3-Point Goals-Florida St. 7-20 (Bookert 2-3, White 2-4, Thomas 1-2, Snaer 1-5, Miller 1-6), Virginia Tech 5-15 (Rankin 2-2, Wood 1-2, Brown 1-3, Green 1-5, Johnston 0-1, Eddie 0-2). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Florida St. 33 (White 10), Virginia Tech 32 (Barksdale 9). Assists-Florida St. 10 (Bookert, Snaer 3), Virginia Tech 12 (Green 5). Total Fouls-Florida St. 21, Virginia Tech 18. Technical-Florida St. Bench. A-5,042.

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