November 27, 2011
Green, Davila led Tech past St. Bonaventure
By Jimmy Robertson
St. Bonaventure (2-2) 214364
Virginia Tech (5-1) 254873
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 8,710
  • High Points: 19 - Erick Green
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Dorian Finney-Smith

BLACKSBURG – Erick Green scored 19 points and Victor Davila contributed mightily on both ends of the floor, as Virginia Tech downed St. Bonaventure in a non-conference game played Sunday night at Cassell Coliseum.

With the victory, Tech moved to 5-1 overall on the season. St. Bonaventure fell to 2-2.

The Hokies overcame a sluggish first half in which they had as many turnovers (10) as baskets (10). But in the second half, Green scored 12 points and Davila added nine, as the Hokies gradually pulled away.

Tech opened a 40-30 lead in the second half on a dunk by Cadarian Raines, but the Bonnies (2-2) cut that lead to three on a 3-pointer by Michael Davenport with 7:31 left.

The Hokies then responded with two free throws from Green, and after a St. Bonaventure turnover, Tech’s Jarell Eddie hit a 3-pointer to make it 53-45 with 6:48 left. St. Bonaventure got no closer than five points the rest of the way.

“This was a step forward,” Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “Like I’ve told the guys, this time of the year, it’s about one thing and one thing only – getting better. We’ve got to get better every day. I think we are getting a little better. I think we’re making improvement.”

Davila scored in double figures for just the second time this season, hitting 5 of 8 from the floor, and the career 49.0 percent free-throw shooter made all three of his free-throw attempts. But the 6-foot-8 senior’s defense stood out.

Playing in front of pro scouts from four different NBA teams, the 6-9, 240-pound Nicholson, who came in averaging 19 points per game, finished with just nine points on 4 of 14 from the floor. He also turned the ball over four times in 36 minutes.

“I didn’t want him to get tight touches [touches close to the basket],” Davila said. “I just tried to get in front of him and get some backside help. I wasn’t going to let him get close to the basket.

“We knew what we were getting into because we played him last year. Us big men had to play hard and not let him get tight touches.”

Nicholson scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds in losing effort last season to the Hokies. This season, Nicholson had not scored fewer than 14 points until Sunday night.

“I thought he [Davila] did a terrific job of defending the post early,” Greenberg said. “I thought we gave him good help. I thought we had a good defensive game plan against Nicholson.

“We’ve challenged Victor before. We need this from him each and every night. The challenge for Victor is real simple – consistency. We need Victor that engaged each and every night. He was awfully good defensively. I thought he worked hard and defended the post early, which was key against a kid like Nicholson.”

Eddie and Dorian Finney-Smith added 11 points each for the Hokies, who shot 48.9 percent from the floor (23 of 47) and 80 percent from the free-throw line (20 of 25). Also, Tech did not turn the ball over in the second half.

Demitrius Conger paced St. Bonaventure with 23, while Davenport finished with 13.

The Hokies now hit the road for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Tech travels to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers on Wednesday night. Tip-off is slated for 9:15 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech men's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MBBall).

For updates on the Hokies, follow Jimmy Robertson on Twitter (@jrobIHS).

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