Smith scores 28, Virginia Tech routs Radford

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BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech and Radford reside just 16 miles apart, but Friday's matchup marked the first time these two programs have met since the 2005-2006 season.

With no rematch officially on the books, Radford may have to wait a while to get its revenge.

Four Virginia Tech players scored in double figures and guard Adam Smith led all scorers with 28 points to lift the Hokies to a 81-56 win over the Highlanders in Cassell Coliseum.

"I felt good going into the game," Smith said. "I've been playing a lot of minutes, but my body really felt healthy today so I guess I was feeling it."

Forward Jarell Eddie scored 13 points and hauled in 10 rebounds for Virginia Tech (5-3) to earn his third consecutive double-double of the season.

"I guess I'm just attacking the glass," Eddie said of his surge in rebounding. "They're on me real hard in practice about offensive rebounds. As far as defensive rebounds, I'm just going and grabbing as many rebounds as I can."

Eddie entered the game as the Hokies' leading scorer, averaging 17.3 points per game. He has also scored in double figures in every game this season.

Eddie's wasn't the only double-double on the afternoon, as forward CJ Barksdale finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds of his own.

Forward Javonte Green led Radford (4-2) in both points and rebounds. The junior finished with 13 points and six rebounds.

The Highlanders trailed by as many as 23 points with 14:46 to play before R.J. Price got hot from the perimeter. Price, who finished with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting, knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers to help pull Radford to within 14.

That was as close as Radford would get. The Hokies outscored the Highlanders 19-8 to close out the game.

Virginia Tech got off to its best start of the season, opening the game with a 23-5 run. After Radford tied the game 5-5 with 17:26 remaining in the first half, the Hokies scored 18 unanswered points. Radford went 4:33 without a point.

Highlanders coach Mike Jones was not pleased with his team's start.

"They're an explosive offensive team," Jones said. "Smith was able to get going early. It wasn't so much one guy. It was more the way that we played. Right from the beginning we were not locked in and doing our job defensively."

Radford would not go away quietly though.

At the 6:58 mark in the first half, Smith hit a jumper to give Tech an 18-point lead. Jones subsequently ordered his Highlanders to apply full-court pressure on the defensive end. Radford forced a couple of turnovers and scored seven quick points to make the score 35-22.

Green led the charge in Radford's mini-run, scoring 11 points and pulling down four rebounds in the first half.

The Hokies would counter-punch in the final four minutes, though, stretching the lead back to 48-28. Tech finished the first half shooting 58.1 percent from the floor.

"They didn't handle (the pressure) well the first couple of times," Jones said. "What happened was we shot ourselves in the foot down on the offensive end. Rather than capitalize on some of those stops, they would score one or two and get that offensive avalanche going again."

Smith poured in 17 points in the first half to help build the Hokies' lead.

Virginia Tech's height seemed to have Radford off balance from the early going. Center Joey Van Zegeren led the way with three blocked shots, and the Hokies blocked eight as a team. The sophomore from the Netherlands affected several more shots throughout the afternoon, and Tech outrebounded Radford 41-29.

NOTES: So far this season, 10 different Hokies have recorded at least 10 points or more in a game. ... Despite the proximity, this was the eighth all-time meeting between the two teams. Hokies coach James Johnson said in his pre-game interview that the Hokies are "interested in continuing the series (with Radford) and are in talks now." ... Up next, Virginia Tech hosts another Big South Conference team on Monday when it hosts Winthrop. Radford hosts Central Penn on Tuesday.

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