The Hokies were unable to stop Georgia Southern as they lost 78-73 and dropped to 8-2 on the season. This was the Hokies first home loss.
Quick thoughts: We looked flat to start the game, and the Eagles were the exact opposite. At one point in the second half I sensed our players almost giving up, but we made a couple shots to get out of that funk.
The entire first half we had wide open looks but couldn't get any of them to fall. It's not that we couldn't find a way to beat them, we found holes in their defense throughout the day, it was that we couldn't make the shots to beat them. We shot 9-31 in the first half (less than 30%!), and as a team shot 0-9 from deep.
The second half wasn't too much better, and this is now the third straight game we have had difficulty hitting threes. For a team that relies so heavily on shooting, those shots need to drop.
The crowd actually surprised me today. A lot of fans showed up and Cassell got pretty loud. Hopefully this loss doesn't stop the fans from coming.
Late in the game our defensive pressure stepped up. We need to play like that throughout the game, but I understand if we don't have the depth to do that.
The team did a poor job getting around screens which gave the Eagles a lot of easy shots. Doubling in the post isn't really working and has yet to cause a turnover this year.
There was no early second half run like the Hokies are used to, so it required a late effort to cut the score to three.
Point Guards: Erick Green did everything he possibly could to try and win it. He had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. The Eagles plan was to double Erick at the top of the key. This caused a couple turnovers but didn't help with stopping him from scoring. He still got his points, and has now gone 10 straight games with 20+ points. He was 0-4 from three, but everyone struggled. Really couldn't ask for more out of him.
Marquis' most notable part of the day was when he made a three pointer and then later followed it up with a dunk. He played a lot with Robert being out for much of the game and did alright. Can't expect much more out of him.
Shooting Guards: Robert Brown had been battling flu-like symptoms all week and it ended up affecting his performance tremendously. He only played 25 minutes and really had no impact in the game. He shot 1-7 and finished with 4 total points.
Forwards: Jarell shot 0-6 from three in the first half, a microcosm of the team's afternoon, but he did have 16 second half points to help bring Tech back. Jarell is the Hokies' most efficient scorer and we need him to get his confidence back. He had 8 rebounds which helped Tech not be completely destroyed on the boards. 3-13 from behind the arc will not cut it though.
C.J. Barksdale played really well today. His presence was felt down low and he had numerous put-backs. He is finally getting healthy and is now becoming one of the Hokies most consistent players. He nearly had a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Marshall Wood played only 13 minutes with C.J. getting the bulk of the work. He was 1-3 on the day, all of which were threes.
Centers: Joey van Zegeren was strong on the boards and played a pretty good game. He used his height to finish with four offensive rebounds. He's done a lot better than I expected him to do. I am really excited to see how he develops throughout the season, and over his next three years at Tech. He could be dominant by the end of his career.
I'm not quite sure why Cadarain played so little today and for the second straight game finished with less than 15 minutes. He never got into a rhythm and had little impact on the game.
Stat of the Game: Georgia Southern shot 7-14 from long range in the first half, and held the lead the entire game. They came out firing on all cylinders, and the Hokies had no response. Their great three-point shooting put the Hokies too big of a hole, and they were never able to climb out of it.
Mike's Player of the Game: Erick Green. He was the only reason we were in this game. He tied his career high in points and rebounds.
This was a bad, bad loss which will really hurt our tournament resume. No more classes for the next month should help our team focus. I'm hopeful we can finish our out of conference schedule strongly and go into ACC play with no more than three losses.
The Hokies get a week off before they play Bradley in Las Vegas. Maybe the next game we'll light it up from three and go on another run.
Guys, sorry this recap was so short, but I've got a ton of work to do and didn't have a lot of time. I may write another post to describe our struggles these past three games in more detail later in the week, we'll see. Hopefully you still enjoyed it and I would love to hear your thoughts on the game/outlook below!