BLACKSBURG -- Despite playing without Adam Smith and Ben Emelogu because of injuries, the Virginia Tech Hokies got a career night from Jarell Eddie and pulled away from pesky Winthrop to record an 81-63 victory over the Eagles in a nonconference game played Tuesday at Cassell Coliseum.
The Hokies won their third straight game and moved to 6-3 overall on the season. Winthrop fell to 5-2.
Smith missed the game with a calf strain, while Emelogu sat out a third straight game with concussion-like symptoms. With those two out, the Hokies relied on Eddie, and the senior delivered in a big way.
Eddie scored a career-high 34 points, surpassing his previous career high of 28 points, which came at UNC Greensboro last season. He hit 13 of 18 from the floor, including 6 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Eddie’s six 3-pointers were one shy of the school record set by Malcolm Delaney at North Carolina in 2011. His 13 baskets were a career high and his six 3-pointers tied a career high.
“I wanted to step up, and I wanted to do as much as I could for the team with those guys out,” Eddie said. “Other guys stepped up as well, though. We got some good minutes from other guys on the team – Cadarian Raines, Marshall Wood, C.J. Barksdale. They all played well. I didn’t feel any pressure to step up. I knew they’d step up as well.”
“He got in a zone and we went to him,” Tech coach James Johnson said of Eddie. “He delivered. He made some nice plays. He didn’t force anything. I thought he was very, very efficient. He scored the ball, he rebounded the ball, he played the point – he was our backup point guard … that was a performance by him tonight [Tuesday].”
Eddie started going off midway through the first half, scoring 17 straight points for the Hokies at one stretch en route to a 20-point first half. He hit 7 of 11 from the floor in the first 20 minutes, including 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc. As a team, Tech hit seven 3-pointers and shot 53.6 percent from the floor in bolting to a 42-33 halftime lead.
Winthrop managed to hang around, though, and cut the Tech lead to 55-53 on a basket by Keon Johnson with 7:40 left in the game. But Eddie answered with a basket to push the lead to 57-53 and start a 17-4 run that helped the Hokies pull away.
Starting with Eddie’s basket, Tech outscored the Eagles 26-10 the rest of the game. The Eagles made just two baskets in that span. In contrast, the Hokies, as a team, shot a season-high 60.4 percent, including 70 percent in the second half.
“I thought we did a good job of attacking,” Johnson said. “Devin [Wilson] got going and got to the basket, and then he’d drive and kick. We had some open 3’s. It started with us getting some defensive stops and then pushing the ball up in transition. Any time we get out in transition, I feel good about our opportunity to score.”
C.J. Barksdale added 13 points for the Hokies, and Devin Wilson pitched in 11 points and eight assists. The Hokies also got solid minutes from Joey van Zegeren, who made his second straight start, and Cadarian Raines, with van Zegeren scoring nine points and Raines added eight off the bench. The trio of Barksdale, van Zegeren and Raines combined to hit 11 of 17 from the floor.
Tech now gears up for its ACC opener, traveling to Coral Gables, Fla., for a Sunday game against Miami. Tipoff is at 12:30 p.m.
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