BROOKLYN, N.Y. – An impressive shooting night for senior Jarell Eddie and a 24-point second half for redshirt sophomore Adam Smith weren’t enough to get the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team past the top-ranked Michigan State Spartans. The Hokies fell 96-77 in their opening game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic championship round at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Eddie finished the game with a career-high six threes as part of a 23-point effort, while Smith led the team with 27 points.
The Hokies (3-2) got out to a slow start as Michigan State (5-0) took an early 10-5 lead, but Tech controlled the boards early on and it would eventually pay off. The Spartans struggled from beyond the arc early, unable to connect on their first six attempts. Tech took advantage and eventually tied the game at 10 on a Ben Emelogu three. C.J. Barksdale followed it up with a bucket of his own to give the Hokies their first lead of the game nearing the midway point in the half.
Following the under-12 media timeout, the Hokies went on an 8-0 run for their largest lead of the night at 20-14. The game saw six lead changes over the next three minutes of play, but Michigan State began to pull away in the closing minutes of the half. The final five minutes of the first period were dominated by Michigan State’s Adreian Payne, who scored 11 of the team’s 15 points in that time frame.
Eddie neared yet another 20-point half as he had 17 at the break, including 4 threes, while Payne put up 20 by halftime, as neither team saw another player score more than six points in the first half.
Michigan State continued to roll in the second half as it opened with a 13-3 run. The Hokies scored just nine points in the first ten minutes of the second half, but midway through the period Smith came alive for Tech. He scored nine straight points for the Hokies and was the only consistent source of production for the squad in the later part of the game.
Barksdale neared a double-double for the Hokies, finishing with eight points and seven boards, while Smith also grabbed six rebounds and had five assists. Payne, as well as Branden Dawson finished with double-doubles for the Spartans. Payne went for 29 and 10, while Dawson scored 12 points and brought down 10 rebounds.
The Hokies will return to the Barclays Center to face Seton Hall tomorrow night, Saturday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m.
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