- Sports & Recreation
- Virginia Tech
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By Kyle Bailey, The Sports Xchange December 21, 2013 7:57 PM
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Tech met for the first time in 18 years on Saturday as part of The Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic. By game's end, only one team was still feeling the holiday spirit. VCU (10-3) utilized its trademark "Havoc" style of pressure and up-tempo play to blow out the Hokies 82-52 in Richmond Coliseum. Despite playing just a few blocks from campus and the Siegel Center, the Rams were the visiting team on the scoreboard. But the pro-VCU crowd gave coach Shaka Smart's players all the energy they needed to feel right at home. VCU scored 31 consecutive points in the first half and forced Virginia Tech (7-4) into 26 turnovers. James Johnson knew coming into the game that the Rams' style combined with the Hokies' lack of depth in the backcourt could spell trouble if the Hokies didn't take care of the ball. Guard Melvin Johnson was blistering hot throughout the game, pacing the Rams with 27 points and finished 8 of 11 from three-point range. Forward Juvante Reddic posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. He was the only other Rams player that scored in double figures. The Hokies' leading scorer, forward Jarell Eddie, came in averaging 19.3 points per game. The senior only took three shots in the first half and was held to 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field. Freshman guard Ben Emelogu added 12 points for Tech. No other Hokie scored more than six points. After falling behind 6-0 in the early minutes of the game, VCU went on a 37-2 run before surrendering another point. During thet run, Tech went nearly 11 minutes without a field goal. The Rams shot 54 percent from 3-point range, led by Johnson, who finished 6 of 6 from long range. Johnson scored 19 points in the first half. The Hokies reached 19 points when forward Trevor Thompson hit a free throw with 1:14 remaining before intermission. Eight other Rams broke into the scoring column in the first half, but none broke into double figures. VCU harassed the Hokies' young backcourt into 15 turnovers and 13 steals. The Rams converted those turnovers into 24 points while holding Tech to a paltry 8-of-24 shooting from the field. Forward Marshall Wood was the only Virginia Tech player with more than one field goal in the first half. VCU completed an in-state season sweep of both Virginia programs from the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Rams also knocked off Virginia on Nov. 16. NOTES: The last time Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth played each other was Feb. 23, 1995, when both schools were members of the Metro Conference. The Rams lead the series 11-10. ... Both teams are back in action on Dec. 28. VCU hosts Boston College and Virginia Tech entertains UNC-Greensboro.