BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech’s Jarell Eddie scored 14 points to lead the hot-shooting Hokies to a 75-54 nonconference win over Furman on Tuesday night at Cassell Coliseum.
Eddie’s 14 points – his seventh straight game in double figures – paced five Tech players in double figures. The Hokies (4-3) also got 13 points from Marshall Wood, a career-high 12 points from Will Johnston and 11 points from Adam Smith. Johnston hit four 3-pointers, while Wood and Smith hit three 3's each, as the Hokies hit 12 3-pointers.
The performance marked the fourth straight game in which the Hokies have made at least 10 3-pointers.
“We’ve got a lot of shooters,” Eddie said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who have deep range. I feel like we probably took too many 3’s. We want to go down low and score in the paint some more. But if those shots are open, we’ll take those shots, and that’s what we did [Tuesday night].”
Eddie made 6 of 15 from the floor, including two 3-pointers, and he also grabbed 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double. It marked the fifth double-double of his career.
Furman (2-3) scored the first basket of the game on a jumper by Stephen Croone. But the Hokies answered with an 18-1 run to take control of the game and never trailed again.
The Paladins missed 12 straight shots after Croone’s game-opening jumper. Furman shot just 20 percent from the floor in the first half (5 of 24) and missed all six of its 3-point attempts.
In the second half, Tech built the lead to 22 points following a Wood 3-pointer with 14:30 left that gave the Hokies a 43-21 lead. Furman cut the lead to nine points on two occasions, the final coming on a Croone 3-pointer that sliced the lead to 51-42 with 7:40 remaining.
But the Hokies’ Johnston answered with a 3-pointer with 7:11 remaining to start a 15-2 run that pushed the lead back to 66-44, and the Hokies weren’t threatened again. Eddie scored seven of the 15 in that run.
Johnston, who played 26 minutes mainly because Ben Emelogu was out (concussion-like symptoms), knocked down 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Wood, who reached double figures for the first time this season, made 4 of 8 from the floor, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.
“It feels good,” Wood said. “I just try to go out and be aggressive whenever I go out there, but it’s obviously a good feeling when you’re knocking down some shots. I’ve been working on my shot. I’ve been waiting for my time, and I came out and played well today [Tuesday].”
“We’re going to hang our hat on whatever’s working for us on that night,” Tech coach James Johnson said. “But I want to continue to be a team that goes inside. I think we’ve got some guys inside that can score the basketball. We’ve got to settle down and be a little more patient. We’re so anxious to make a move. We’ve got big wings that can post up. I want to continue to attack the basket.
“But Eddie can hit 3’s and Will Johnston can hit 3’s and Wood can hit 3’s. When those guys are open and it’s their shot, I don’t mind. They’ve got take it. I’ve seen those guys practice and work hard on their game. If it’s there, they can take it.”
Virginia Tech also got a career-high 11 assists from freshman point guard Devin Wilson, who became the first Tech freshman to record 11 assists in a game since Dell Curry dished out 11 against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 4, 1982.
The Hokies shot 47 percent from the floor for the game (28 of 59).
Croone led the Paladins with 27 points. He hit 8 of 14 from the floor and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line. Larry Wideman added 13 points for the Paladins, who only had four players score in the game.
Tech continues its nonconference slate on Friday when it takes on New River Valley rival Radford University. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.
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