GAME NOTES: The Virginia Tech Hokies are set to host the Georgia Southern Eagles in the preliminary round of the Las Vegas Classic at Cassell Coliseum.
Georgia Southern has notched only one road win in five tries this season. The Eagles will need to try and solve their road woes in a hurry, as this weekend's tilt kicks off a five-game road swing. They were home against Brewton-Parker this past Sunday, notching a 79-56 win to snap a three-game slide.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is a perfect 7-0 at home so far under first-year head coach James Johnson. Most recently, the Hokies notched a 70-49 home win over Mississippi Valley State on Monday to open the Las Vegas Classic. Johnson's squad also boasts a double-digit win over then 15th-ranked Oklahoma State on Dec. 1.
Virginia Tech has beaten GSU in all five prior meetings in the series, although these teams have not faced each other since the 1996-97 season. This is the Eagles' first venture into the state of Virginia since 2003.
GSU's win over Brewton-Parker was followed by a week off for final exams, so it will be interesting to see if the team can carry that momentum over to this contest. The Eagles shot an impressive 60.4 percent from the floor, including a 10-of-18 effort from 3-point range (.556). Eric Ferguson led five players in double figures with 18 points behind 7-of-9 shooting from the floor, while C.J. Reed scored 16 in the win. Ferguson paces the squad with 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and needs just 42 points to reach 1,000 for his career. Tre Bussey, who scored 14 against Brewton-Parker, is averaging 10.4 ppg. Starting guards Reed (9.8 ppg) and freshman Cleon Roberts (9.1 ppg) are each shooting at a 50-percent clip from the perimeter.
For Virginia Tech, Erick Green leads the way with 24.4 ppg, which leads the ACC by a margin of 5.2 ppg entering the weekend. A 51-percent shooter from the floor, Green is also averaging 5.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds. Jarell Eddie is next in line with 14.8 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds per tilt, while Robert Brown rounds out the double-digit scorers with 13.2 ppg. As a team, the Hokies are posting a robust 82.2 ppg, while holding foes to 69.1 points. In Monday's win, they held Mississippi Valley State to 25.7-percent shooting from the floor. Green poured in 23 points, and Marcus Patrick finished with 10 off the bench. MVSU simply could not buy a bucket from long range as the team connected on only 4-of-29 3-point attempts.
The Eagles are coming off a victory, but they'll be hard-pressed to knock off Green and the Hokies in Blacksburg.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Tech 89, Georgia Southern 69
12/15 10:39:31 ET
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