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The Hokies faced the Winthrop Eagles on Tuesday night. The Eagles came into the game 5-1, while the Hokies were 5-3. The Hokies were coming into the game on a two game win streak. Ben Emelogu and Adam Smith both were out of the game, so the Hokies were going need someone to step up and Jarell Eddie was that man. Tech went into half time with a nine point lead after a twenty point first half from Eddie. The Eagles were able to claw their way back into the game in the second half, because of the Hokies turnovers (who ended up with 18 total). It was a one point game with right over five minutes to go in the second half when Eddie and the Hokies caught fire which led to a strong run to pull back out in front and ultimately put the game out of reach. The Hokies ended up winning with a score of 81-63.
Eddie had a phenomenal game finishing with a career high 34 points on 13-18 shooting, including 6-8 from downtown (two of those threes ended up in four point plays after being hit on the shot and still making the basket). It seemed like every time the Eagles would make a push and the Hokies needed a basket, there Eddie was nailing a clutch shot to maintain the lead. It was nice to see the senior step up and play a great game when Tech really needed him to do so.
The Hokies were able to out rebound Winthrop 37 to 22, so their effort on the boards paid off. Along with a solid performance on the boards the Hokies added in eight blocks. More impressively, the Hokies shot sixty percent opposed to the Eagles forty. Both teams shot well from the line (Hokies at 70 percent and the Eagles at 66 percent). Even though the Hokies turned over the ball eighteen times to the Eagles ten, they were still able to come out on top. If the Hokies can continue to shoot at a high rate and start taking care of the ball better, then they could give some teams a run for their money. This was another solid win early in the season, but the Hokies have a long way to go and the conference games are right around the corner.
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The Hokies, after their three game home stand, head to Miami to take on the Hurricanes for their conference opener. The Hurricanes come in 5-3 (they play Nebraska tomorrow night so there record will change) and are looking to knock of the Hokies to start of the conference schedule with a win. After this conference showdown with Miami the Hokies have two more non-conference games before they strictly get into ACC play. The Hokies still need to improve on several areas, such as turnovers and defense, before they get into ACC play, but they don’t have much time left to do so. This team continues to improve and the young guys show promise for the future, but we won’t really know what they are made of until they get into consistent conference play where they will see quality opponents night in and night out.
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