Virginia Tech Downs Marshall Men, 71-54|
Nov. 22, 2005
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech's Deron Washington scored 17 points to lead the Hokies over the Marshall Thundering Herd, 71-54, Monday evening at Casell Coliseum. Travis Aikens (Orlando, Fla.) led the Marshall effort with 16 points and 11 rebounds, his first career double-double.
Marshall and the Hokies both began the game struggling to find the net - the Herd led 4-3 after the first media timeout at the 15:15 mark in the first half. Marshall continued to lead for the next minute, and at 14:08, Mason Wooldridge (New Canton, Va.) knocked in his first two career points to put the Herd ahead, 8-5. Virginia Tech responded with a quick flurry of 14 consecutive points to take a 19-8 lead with 9:45 to go in the half. The Hokies held on to the lead, and took a 34-26 advantage into the halftime break.
The Herd began the second half firing back at the Hokies, cutting the Virginia Tech lead to five, 45-40, on an Aikens lay-up with 12:45 to go in the game. Again the Hokies responded, this time going on an 11-1 run to make the score 56-41 with 7:18 to play. Marshall never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.
"I thought we played hard in the first half, but not very smart in the second," said Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa. "We can't turn the ball over 17 times against a good team on the road.
"You have to give them credit. I think they have a great program and a lot of good things going for them."
For the game, Marshall shot 34.0% from the floor, compared to 43.5% for Virginia Tech. However, the deciding statistic was in the turnover column - the Herd committed 17 turnovers, while the Hokies turned the ball over only six times, which resulted in 21 Virginia Tech points off of those turnovers. The Herd out-rebounded Virginia Tech, 42-29, on the night.
"Virginia Tech had great composure," said Jirsa. "I think that was a big part of the game."
Virginia Tech's Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon also added double-figures for the Hokies, scoring 16 and 15 points respectively.
The Herd returns to action this Saturday evening against Evansville in the Henderson Center. The two teams met in their prospective season openers on November 18, with the Purple Aces coming away with a 91-81 decision at home. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.