Virginia Tech (9-3) vs. BYU (9-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 29, 2 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: EnergySolutions Arena (19,911) -- Salt Lake City, Utah. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: VT 7-1, BYU 7-0. Away Record: VT 1-1, BYU 1-2. Neutral Record: VT 1-1, BYU 1-2. Conference Record: VT 0-0, BYU 0-0. Series Record: BYU leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The BYU Cougars and Virginia Tech Hokies are set to square off in a non-conference tilt this afternoon at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
Virginia Tech stands at 9-3 but has lost two of its last three outings, with the lone victory during that stretch coming in overtime against Bradley last Saturday at the Las Vegas Classic. However, the very next day the Hokies were swept off the floor by Colorado State in the championship game of the event, 88-52. The Hokies will begin their ACC schedule at Maryland next weekend.
BYU is looking to improve to 7-0 at home this season. The Cougars have won four of their last five outings, with the loss coming at Baylor in what marked their only game outside of Utah since Dec. 1. The Cougars were in action Thursday night, posting an 84-54 win over Northern Arizona.
BYU leads the all-time series, 2-0. These teams met up last January in Blacksburg, where the Cougars claimed a 70-68 road victory.
Virginia Tech trailed CSU 33-27 at halftime of Sunday's matchup. However, the Rams opened the second half with a 21-4 run and never looked back. Erick Green led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting, although he also committed five turnovers. Jarell Eddie was the only other Hokie in double figures, finishing with 10 points. Green, who earned all-tournament team honors for his play in Las Vegas, enters the weekend as the nation's leading scorer, averaging 25.4 points per game. He has scored at least 20 points in all 12 games this season, tying Bob Ayersman's school record set in 1958-59. While Green has assumed the lion's share of the offensive looks, he is not alone in halfcourt sets. Eddie is averaging 14.7 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per tilt, while Robert Brown is averaging 10.4 ppg.
For BYU, it was the Brandon Davies show against Northern Arizona on Thursday, as the senior forward poured in 27 points and 10 rebounds, both game-highs. Davies shot an ultra-efficient 13-of-16 from the floor, also adding three steals to his stat line. He was joined in double figures by Tyler Haws with 15 points and Raul Delgado, who scored 11 off the bench. The Cougars forced 24 turnovers for the game and held a 40-18 scoring advantage inside the paint. Their size has presented matchup problems for opponents this season. Davies is second in the West Coast Conference in scoring (20.3 ppg) and is third in rebounding (8.2 rpg). He is also averaging 1.7 blocks, while shooting 56.5 percent from the floor. Haws is averaging 19.3 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Cougars, who boast a +4.5 rebounding margin on the season.
BYU notched a road win over Tech when these teams met a year ago, and these teams posted very different outcomes in each of their most recent outings. Look for the Cougars to put lots of bodies around Green en route to another win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: BYU 75, Virginia Tech 65
12/29 10:35:58 ET