Nov. 16, 2013
Blacksburg, Va. - Virginia Tech shot 52 percent from the floor while outscoring Western Carolina 38-18 in the first half en route to a 79-61 win over the Catamounts Friday night in the Cassell Coliseum in a nonconference game.
WCU was a dismal 6-of-27 from the floor, while VaTech was 16-of-31, 52 percent, overall. The Catamounts made one of 12 attempts from behind the three-point line, and five of their 12 free throws during the first 20 minutes.
WCU improved in the second half and raised their shooting percentage to 33 percent, 20-of-61, and 12 percent from three, while Virginia Tech finished at 48 percent overall and 46 percent from behind the arc. The Catamounts even outscored VaTech 43-41 in the second half.
The game got off to a sloppy start as WCU missed its first ten field goal attempts, but trailed by only six points, 9-3, with 12:24 on the clock following a free throw by Tawaski King. WCU's only points in the first 7:36 of play came on free throws by King, Kenneth Hall and Sumler. The Hokies however answered with two transition dunks by Trevor Thompson as VaTech extended the lead to ten points, 13-3. WCU's first field goal of the half came on the ensuing possession - a lay-in by Justin Browning - with 10:31 left before the half.
The Hokies continued to stretch their lead, 20-6, before Sinclair converted the Catamounts first three pointer of the game with 8:12 showing on the clock to cut the gap to 11 points, 20-9; WCU had started 0-for-7 through almost 12 minutes of basketball.
Two minutes later, VaTech had pushed the lead back to 16 points, 25-9, following a Ben Emelogu dunk and three from the wing by Jarell Eddie. Eddie's three sparked a 16-9 run for the Hokies over the final seven minutes of play as VaTech took a 38-18 lead into the break. Three of WCU's nine points during the stretch came on a Torrin Brummitt three-point play following a nice post move and free throw.
Still trailing by 20 points, 51-31, with just under 12 minutes on the clock in the second half the Catamounts strung together an 8-0 run with six of the points coming from Brandon Boggs including a three from the wing to trim the lead down to 12 points, 51-39. VaTech ended an almost five minute stretch without a point with a Devin Wilson free throw to end the run. Two Browning free throws at the eight-minute mark cut the Hokie lead down to ten points, 53-43. Following four VaTech free throws and a pair of free throws by WCU's Mike Brown, the Hokies made their first field goal on an Eddie elbow jumper with 6:45 to play to push the lead out to 14 points, 59-45. The made basket ended a 6:43 stretch for the Hokies without a field goal for the Hokies.
Eddie's jumper was enough to hold off the Catamounts as the Hokies maintained the and ran out the clock to earn the 79-61 win.
WCU returns to the court Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Liberty for its fourth game in six days. It is also part of a six-game, ten day road trip.
Western Carolina at Virginia Tech Game Notes
- WCU won the opening tip for the second time this season; However following a WCU turnover VaTech scored the opening points ... It was the second time this season WCU gave up the first points;
- The Catamounts scored the first points of the second half on a James Sinclair layup ... It was the third time this season WCU opened the second half of play with the first points.
- With a steal with 14:05 in the first half, James Sinclair has recorded one take-a-way in each of the first four games.
- Justin Browning had six points for a new career-high.
- Kenneth Hall had a season-high four blocks; he has recorded a block three of the four games.