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January 9, 2013

Home No Help For VT In 86-75 Loss To BC

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It's been a while since senior guard Erick Green had assistance.

He had a hand from junior forward Jarell Eddie, but it wasn't enough to overcome more sloppy play from Virginia Tech. The Hokies had 17 turnovers and committed 26 fouls in dropping their fourth-straight game, this one to Boston College 86-75.

Green still finished with 24 points, while Eddie added 21.

"When they had to go against our set defense, 29 points off of turnovers, we can't guard that," coach James Johnson said. "We can't guard that. We can't give up breakaway layups. We cannot give it up. And those 29 points came from our turnovers."

What was an undermanned team stayed that way tonight as sophomore guard Robert Brown couldn't play due to an illness giving Virginia Tech six scholarship players available. Sophomore forward C.J. Barksdale, who missed Saturday's game at Maryland due to a coaching decision, was back in the starting lineup and scored the game's first points on a layup.

Virginia Tech started out strong and built as much as a 23-17 lead with 5:35 to play after a jumper by Green. But the Hokies' strong start soon turned the other way, with sloppy play on both ends of the floor.

Boston College turned nine Virginia Tech turnovers into 15 points and took a 32-26 lead into haltime. The Eagles might have had a larger lead if not for 8-17 shooting at the free throw line as a result of 12 Hokies fouls. Each team shot an identical 11-28 from the field and had 19 rebounds.

"It's just not taking care of the ball," Green said. "That's it, just not taking care of the ball.

"We weren't staying in front of our person we were guarding. If you don't stay in front, they get by you, dish off like they did, kick out for wide open threes and they beat us. We knew they were a good three-point shooting team."

Virginia Tech didn't get much production from its starting posts, Barksdale and junior Cadarian Raines, with a combined two points and four rebounds. But Barksdale showed more energy to start, getting to the free throw line after a scrap on the offensive glass. He hit both shots to cut the deficit to 32-28.

Boston College got moving afterward, using a 5-0 run capped by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Lonnie Jackson for a 37-28 advantage. That lead increased to 42-30 after a turnover by Eddie led to a three-pointer from Eagles freshman guard Olivier Hanlan.

The Hokies responded with back to back three-pointers by Eddie and sophomore guard Marquis Rankin, but the Eagles ended the brief run with a three-pointer of their own to take a 45-36 lead. Another Virginia Tech turnover and subsequent BC layup pushed the deficit to 49-38 with 14:36 to go.

A fast break by Green, who got the bounce to fall on a layup, capped a 7-2 run and knifed into the lead at 51-45. The run kept going for the Hokies, after sophomore walk-on guard Christian Beyer hit a pair of free throws to make the score 53-49.

The Hokies inched closer after a Barksdale lay in made the score 61-58 with 7:02 to play, but Boston College got its advantage up to 73-63 with 2:54 left. The Eagles held firm in the final minutes to hold on for the win.

"Anyone who's competitive, coaches, players, you don't like losing," Johnson said. "You wanna find a way to get out of this thing and get to the next game and try to get a win. In the ACC, it's tough. You can't get too high on any win and you can't get too low on any losses. You've just gotta try to move on. Those guys are looking at me and they're trying to see how I'm gonna handle things and how I'm gonna react to things. Sure, it's frustrating but it's a long season and we've gotta move on and try to get better and try to get to the next game."

It's now a four-game losing streak for Virginia Tech, which is 9-6 overall, 0-2 in the ACC and will try to get back going at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Georgia Tech.


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