BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Erick Green scored a career-best 27 points to lead Virginia Tech to an 87-76 win over Appalachian State on Friday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum, giving the Hokies their best start to a season in nearly 30 years.
Virginia Tech improved to 5-0, its first such start since beginning the 1984-85 season with the same mark. The Hokies' perfect mark will be tested Tuesday when Iowa visits for a Big 10-ACC Challenge matchup.
Jay Canty scored 21 points to lead Appalachian State, which fell to 1-4 and remains winless against Division I competition this season.
Jarell Eddie added 23 points for the Hokies. Freshman Marshall Wood scored in double figures for the first time this season and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
The Mountaineers jumped to an early 9-4 lead and hung around with the favored Hokies for much of the game. Appalachian State rode the hot shooting of Tab Hamilton in the first half and the inside scoring of Canty in the second to stay in the game. The Hokies led 41-38 at the break and stretched the lead to seven three minutes into the second half.
But the Mountaineers, who slowed the pace of the game and tried to force Tech into more half-court possessions, made some key defensive stops and rallied to tie the game at 50-all with 14:56 left on a basket from Michael Obacha.
The Hokies responded with a 6-0 run, but the Mountaineers rallied again, cutting the lead to 60-58 on a Nathan Healy 3-pointer. The Hokies rattled off the next seven points to regain control, with two C.J. Barksdale free throws giving Tech a 67-58 lead with 7:58 left.
The Hokies pushed the lead to double digits for the first time on Marshall Wood's layup with 6:55 left, giving Tech a 71-60 lead.
Jamaal Trice added 19 points for the Mountaineers. Hamilton scored 15 and Jay Healy finished with 11.
NOTES: Appalachian State's last win against an ACC opponent was an 80-69 victory over Virginia in the 2006 San Juan Shootout. ... The last time the Hokies started a season 5-0, they finished with a 20-9 record and advanced to the NCAA tournament. ... Appalachian State was misspelled "Appalachain" on the front of Canty's jersey. ... ASU's 1-4 start is its worst since starting with the same record in 2003-04, a season in which the Mountaineers finished with a 9-21 mark. ... ASU's Tommy Spagnolo began his college career at Radford, which is located about 15 miles from Blacksburg.