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Basketball Bulldogs routed by Virginia Tech in Battle of Atlantis


Special to the Dispatch



PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas -- Mississippi State could not offset a monster offensive night by Virginia Tech as the Bulldogs dropped an 88-57 decision to the Hokies in the final game of Saturday''s Battle at Atlantis. 


Playing its first road game of the season, the Bulldogs were undone by a 3-point shooting barrage by the red-hot Hokies. Virginia Tech hit a season-best nine 3-pointers, including six in the opening half. 


The Hokies (6-4) finished with a 50 percent shooting night, a plus-14 rebounding advantage and their largest point total in a single game this season. 


"We did not execute," MSU head coach Rick Stansbury said. "Give Virginia Tech credit. They out-worked us, out-toughed us, out-coached us. They beat us in every single phase of the game." 


The Bulldogs (7-3) never led in the contest. Virginia Tech broke away from a 4-4 tie by scoring nine straight points. Back-to-back 3-point baskets by Riley Benock and Ravern Johnson kept the Bulldogs close in the early stages. 


Leading 22-16, the Hokies used a 7-2 run to ease out to its first double-digit advantage of the night. A jumper by Jarell Eddie ran the Hokies'' advantage to 29-18. 


The Hokies used an 8-2 run over the final 4:27 of the first half to take a commanding 44-27 lead at halftime. 


In the final 20 minutes, MSU got within 13 points but could get no closer the remainder of the way. An 11-0 run by the Hokies removed all doubt from the contest down the back stretch of the second half. 


"We stood around in the post," Stansbury said. "We did not do the things that you need to do offensively. We have to do more in transition. You can''t let fatigue take you out of what you are trying to do offensively." 


For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 22 of 49 shots from the field (44.9 percent), 6 of 19 shots from 3-point range (31.6 percent) and 7 of 12 shots from the foul line (58.3 percent). The Hokies hit 30 of 60 shots from the field (50.0 percent), 9 of 25 shots from 3-point range (36.0 percent) and 19 of 23 shots from the foul line (82.6 percent). 


Virginia Tech held a 38-24 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 10 assists and 16 turnovers, while the Hokies had 17 assists and 10 turnovers. 


Renardo Sidney and Ravern Johnson led MSU with 12 points apiece. Sidney also had three rebounds but played only 25 minutes before fouling out. Kodi Augustus added 11 points, while Brian Bryant had a team-high eight rebounds. 


Virginia Tech received a game-high 17 points from Dorenzo Hudson. Also in double figures were Malcolm Delaney with 16 points, Erick Green with 14 points, Jeff Allen with 12 points and Manny Atkins with 10 points. Allen managed a double-double as he pulled down a game-best 10 rebounds. 


The Bulldogs remain on the road for three contests in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. First up is Washington State in a 2 p.m. tip Wednesday afternoon. That contest will be televised nationally from Honolulu by ESPNU.



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