After the Hokies’ win over Florida State, and momentum going in the right direction, they hit a brick wall in Miami and fell to the #5 Hurricanes 76-58.
Some of the same issues from passed games showed up again, but there were a few positives to take away as well. While the Hokies struggled to box out, shoot, and well… play defense, Erick had support from two of the younger guys on the team.
The Hokies were in the game for the first 14 minutes, but a couple missed opportunities cost them. Miami did not make a field goal for OVER 10 minutes, and Tech had multiple chances to take the lead. Miami finished the half on a 23-5 run, which ended all hopes of an upset. The Hurricanes dominated all facets of the game during that run, they shot 54.5% and out rebounded the Hokies 9-5. The Hokies made just one field goal in the last 9:59 of the half.
Tech again got help from C.J. Barksdale, the sophomore had 12 points on 6-9 shooting, and finished with 7 rebounds. At one point he stripped one of the quickest players in the ACC, Shane Larkin. We’re starting to see his potential, and I’m getting excited to see his future successes with the team. He has responded from being benched earlier in the season and looks like he finally “gets it.”
The Hokies star player, Erick Green, was unable to find his legs in the game. He only had 16 (geez, we’ve gotten spoiled!) and was less than stellar on his jump shots. I’m not quite sure how banged up he is, but he still had a wrap on his leg, and from what I saw and heard, looked like he injured his hip, groin, and his ankle (don’t know which is correct). It’s clear he’s warn down from all the minutes he’s played. About 80% of his missed shots were short, and he was 1-4 from deep. It’s nice when your star player struggles and still puts up this stat line: 16 points (6-13), 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and a steal.
The third player to score in double-figures was Robert Brown. He scored an ACC career-high 12 points, but was only 3-8 from the floor. All 12 points came in the second half, and 5 came from the free throw line, a place he usually struggles from. His shot selection has improved (it’s still not great), and he looked to find an open teammate before he took a contested shot.
Mike’s Player of the Game: C.J. Barksdale has now had three straight excellent games. He got in the right position, gave effort, and wound up with the ball in his hands. He was able to stretch the court with his jumper and had another efficient game.
Between being on the road and facing a top 5 team coming off a loss, we really had no chance. The Hokies last home game is Saturday at 8 p.m. against Clemson. This is the FINAL time we get to see Erick in Cassell. Enjoy it before it’s over!