Hokies Fall To UNC Greensboro 55-52

by Tyler A on December 29, 2013 · 2 comments

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The Hokies returned to action yesterday to take on UNC Greensboro in Cassel Coliseum. They haven’t played a game since last weekend, where there were destroyed by VCU. When you have that much time in between games it can really hurt you, because you can lose whatever rhythm you had going, especially for shooters. This was the case for the Hokies on Saturday as they lost to the Spartans 55-52. It was another disappointing loss that Tech should have been able to find a way to pull out.

First Half

Both teams only scored 22 points apiece in the first half, because of poor shooting. Tech played from behind most of the first half, because they continued to turnover the ball (they finished with 15 total in the game). Most of the turnovers were not forced at all by the Spartans, because the Hokies were called for numerous travels. It was an ugly game to watch to be honest. Jarell Eddie had a horrible game, scoring only four points on 1-12 shooting. It was apparent that the long time off bothered Eddie the most of any player. From not playing in a week he was clearly out of rhythm and with Adam Smith out they really needed Eddie’s scoring.

Second Half

The second half was back and forth. Both teams would go on their runs and just flip-flop the lead. Every time either team looked like they were in control of the game, the other team would make a run. The Hokies had a small lead down the stretch and failed to maintain it. The Spartans made plays, when the Hokies couldn’t, but more importantly than that were free throws. The Hokies went 13-23, while UNC Greensboro went 14-16. Tech missed some key ones late that caused them to lose the game. Marshall Wood (who had a solid game 14 points which led the Tech) missed a lay-up, but got fouled. If he would have made the lay-up and got the free throw, it would have tied the game. Instead he went to the line and made one of two. Tech then fouled and the Spartans and they went one of two as well. Devin Wilson (who I really like he just needs to really improve his shooting) got fouled on a drive and he too had an opportunity to tie the ball game. Wilson was unable to convert the three point play and then the Spartans made two free throws and that was the ball game as the Hokies were unable to drain a three to force overtime. So those two late missed free throws really cost the Hokies.

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Turnovers continue to be a major issue for this team, along with their defense. The turnovers are expected, because of the youth but the defense should gradually improve. Despite Joey Van Zegeren, Ben Emeelogu, and Marshall Wood all being in double digits scoring (without any help from Eddie and Smith being out due to injury) there just wasn’t enough fire power. When Eddie is on and Smith can add in some points of his own, this team can make up for their turnovers and lack of defense, but today was not one of those days. It is going to be a long season, but once again keep in mind the youth that is on this team. I think this experience that they are getting this year is going to pay off, but we all have to just be patient. I know that is a tough pill to swallow, but it is the truth. James Johnson inherited a disaster and even a hall of fame coach couldn’t turn this around overnight. I would have to give Johnson a couple more years, just until his recruits are upperclassmen, before I can pass judgment.

Next Up

The Hokies will play MD-E Shore in Cassel Coliseum on Tuesday at four. As we all know, this is the same day as Tech’s bowl game, so Cassel will most likely be even more empty than normal. Hopefully the Hokies can generate some energy of their own and get back on track. The Hokies should win this one, but they really need to get Eddie back on track and make some improvements, because Syracuse comes to Blacksburg on the seventh (and then that’s when ACC play begins).

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