BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Off the court, Erick Green and Jarell Eddie are roommates. On the court, they've become a nearly unstoppable tandem as Virginia Tech has gotten off to its best start in nearly 30 years.
Green scored a career-best 27 points and Eddie added 23 for the Hokies in an 87-76 win over Appalachian State on Friday, marking the second straight game that both players have hit the 20-point mark.
"Confidence and freedom," Appalachian State coach Jason Capel said when asked what makes the duo so tough to defend. "Jarell Eddie is a North Carolina kid, so I've seen him since he's in high school. I'll tell you what, he's a hell of a lot better now. He's a really good player. He's changed his body, he has a lot of confidence in his jump shot -- and he should -- he's posting now and trusting himself.
"Erick Green has been a good player. I think he's one of the better guards in the country. He's definitely one of the top two point guards in the ACC."
Green reset the career high he had established just four days ago at UNC Greensboro when he scored 26 points.
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.
"It means a lot," Green said of the team's hot start. "We've been working hard and it's paid off. We've just got to get ready for the next game because now it's going to get real."
Jay Canty scored 21 points to lead Appalachian State, which fell to 1-4 and remains winless against Division I competition this season.
Tech freshman Marshall Wood scored in double figures for the first time this season and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Friday marked the second straight game that the 6-foot-7 Wood led the Hokies in rebounding.
"He's getting better every minute out there on the floor," Tech coach James Johnson said. "Every minute in practice, that young man is getting better. He's getting more confident.
"I've been most impressed with his rebounding. That was one of my concerns coming into the season. We didn't have a dominant rebounder and I felt like all five guys would need to rebound. I've been real impressed with the way he's rebounded the basketball. He's got a nose for the ball and he's athletic."
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 early on, made some key defensive stops and rallied to tie the score 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 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 Healy finished with 11. The Hokies went 30 of 39 from the free-throw line, outscoring the Mountaineers from the stripe by 18 points.
"Nineteen turnovers and then allowing a team to shoot 39 free throws, not a good recipe to win," Capel said. "We put ourselves in a position to win. No moral victories. We're a very good team and we're going to get better as the year goes on."
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.