Appalachian State (1-3) at Virginia Tech (4-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 23, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cassell Coliseum (9,847) -- Blacksburg, Virginia. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Appalachian State 1-1, Virginia Tech 3-0. Away Record: Appalachian State 0-2, Virginia Tech 1-0. Neutral Record: Appalachian State 0-0, Virginia Tech 0-0. Conference Record: Appalachian State 0-0, Virginia Tech 0-0. Series Record: Virginia Tech leads 6-1.
GAME NOTES: Virginia Tech looks to continue its early season winning when the Hokies play host to the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Cassell Coliseum.
All the positive emotion that Appalachian State earned with a dominating 86-54 win over NAIA foe Montreat, has disappeared, as the Mountaineers have dropped three straight games all by double digits. Most recently Appalachian State was handled by East Carolina 82-72. The Mountaineers will be back home in their next matchup when they host Duquesne next Wednesday.
Virginia Tech didn't just win its season opener, its won in every game it has been involved in so far. With a 96-87 victory on the road over UNC Greensboro on Monday, the Hokies topped an opponent for the first time by a single-digit margin. Virginia Tech will take place in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge when it hosts Iowa in the second matchup of a three-game homestand.
In seven previous meetings, Virginia Tech has won six times including each of the last five matchups. The most recent was a 69-39 win during the 2006-07 season.
Appalachian State trailed for the majority of the game in its loss to East Carolina and shot 42.6 percent from the floor including just 3-of-12 from the 3-point line. Not only did the Mountaineers lose the game they were also on short end of differentials on points in the paint (44-34) and points off turnovers (17-8). In the loss Appalachian State wasted strong efforts from Nathan Healy (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Jay Canty (25 points).
Stopping other teams from scoring has proved to be a difficult task for the Mountaineers early on. Opponents are scoring 80.8 points per game while having success on 52.3 percent of their shots from the floor against Appalachian State. That has wiped away any positives of the squad's impressive scoring average (76.0 ppg). Canty (15.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is both the lead scorer and rebounder for the Mountaineers as well as the player who spends the most time on the court (31.2 minutes per game). Healy (13.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is also scoring in double figures and posting solid numbers on the glass. Healy is scoring by finishing well around the rim (60.0 FG percentage). Tabarris Hamilton (11.2 ppg) and Tevin Baskin (10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are each scoring in double figures as well.
Virginia Tech got itself into a shootout with UNC Greensboro in its last game. The Hokies shot at a 45.3 percent clip overall and were able to keep the Spartans at arm's length by knocking down an impressive 14-of-22 shots from 3- point range. The Hokies also protected the rim well in the win blocking eight shots as a team. Free throws also played a role as the Hokies outscored the Spartans 34-12 from the charity stripe.
As has become the trend Erick Green and Jarell Eddie led the way on offense against UNC Greensboro scoring 28 and 26 points respectively. Both have been scoring in bunches this season with Green the lead option (23.8 ppg). Green hasn't just been chucking shots up though as he shoots 50.0 percent from the floor and also hands out 5.5 assists per game. Eddie (17.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg) provides a nice complement in the Tech frontcourt and also shoots at a high percent (53.5 FG percentage). Robert Brown (12.2 ppg) and Cadarian Raines (10.5 ppg) are also scoring in double figures. As a team Virginia Tech is scoring 85.0 points per game, bringing in 41.0 rebounds and shooting at a 47.9 percent clip.
With a scoring duo like Green and Eddie, Appalachian State won't have the right matchup to begin to fix its issues on defense. Expect the Hokies to roll on to 5-0.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Tech 83, Appalachian State 70
11/23 10:51:52 ET