Senior guard Erick Green tied his career high with 25 points and Virginia Tech improved to 2-0 on the season with a 69-50 victory over Rhode Island Monday night.
Green shot 8-15 on the night, including 4-7 from behind the arc to pace the offense.
"I feel free," Green said. "Coach Johnson is letting me play and get guys open. I'm coming off ball screens which I love to do, I'm reading it, and I feel good. I feel real good."
Junior center Cadarian Raines also set a new career high with 12 rebounds on his way to the first double-double of his career. He scored 10 points on the night.
"Coach made sure that he stayed on me about getting rebounds," Raines said. "All day yesterday, I dreamed about getting rebounds. Four rebounds wasn't enough."
James Johnson's defense held the Rams in check for most of the night as they connected on just 33.9% of their field goals, including just 1-20 from behind the arc. Opponents have made just 10.81% of their three point attempts this season. Guard Xavier Mumford, who scored 24 points on 11-20 shooting, led the Rams offensively. Rhode Island dished out just three assists on the night and turned the ball over nine times.
"We did a good job, but I want to do a great job," Green said.
The Hokies jumped out to a 13-0 right out of the gate thanks to baskets by all five of their starters. Tech pushed the lead out to 14 with 8:08 left in the first half before Rhode Island used a late 8-0 run to pull within four at 28-24 with 1:34 left in the first half.
"We got a shot clock violation on the first play and that set the tone for the game," cpach James Johnson said.
From there, Green hit two three pointers and junior forward Jarell Eddie pulled up for a jumper for an 8-0 run of their own and the Hokies went to the lock room with a 36-24 advantage.
"Every team needs a guy like Erick Green," Raines said. "Someone you can go to when you need a bucket."
The Hokies maintained their lead throughout the second half and pushed it out to as many as 21 with 1:15 left in the game.
Off the bench, freshman Marshall Wood had four points on 2-7 shooting, although he did miss all five of his three point attempts.
"When he finally gets his feet underneath him hitting that three, he's going to be able to score, too," Green said.
Sophomore point guard Marquis Rankin was with the team Monday night, but didn't play. Johnson said afterward he will be ready to go for the next game.
Virginia Tech continues its season on Thursday night at home against VMI. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.