Virginia Tech 88, Mississippi State 57: Hokies Bully 'Dogs on Boards

If the Hokies win on an island and no one can see it, does it make a sound?

Allegedly, Virginia Tech beat Mississippi State by 31 today in The Bahamas in front of over 3,400 people. However, since the game wasn't on TV and there probably weren't many Hokie fans in attendance, we're going to have to just trust the stat sheet and Bill Roth's word that he wasn't just reading a script during today's broadcast.

And even if it was a script, what a script it was. The Hokies shot the lights out, crushed Mississippi State on the glass and rolled to a huge win over a team from a power conference. How good that win looks at the end of the year, remains to be seen.

Mississippi State isn't nearly as good as the team that barely missed the Tournament last year with Jarvis Varnado. However, when the Bulldogs get Dee Bost back for SEC play and Renardo Sidney gets back into shape, they could end up being a decent team.

The Hokies will need them to be more than that as they will probably be Tech's best non-conference win along with Oklahoma State. Tech needs the Bulldogs to pile on wins against SEC opponents to prop up its own strength of schedule come selection Sunday.

However, judging by Saturday's game, the Bulldogs still have some work to do before the Hokies can consider them a quality win.

Virginia Tech's biggest advantage in its blowout win came in rebounding. Tech out-rebounded the Bulldogs by 15 and pulled down 13 offensive boards that led to 12 second-chance points. The Hokies also forced 16 turnovers, including eight steals that led to 11 points off turnovers. The Bulldogs didn't register any points off turnovers.

Everyone got into the act in helping the Hokies score their second-most points in the young season. They were led by Malcolm Delaney, who had a game-high 19 points. Dorenzo Hudson, who came off the bench after returning from a calm injury, had 17 points. Point guard Erick Green, who got the start in place of Hudson, scored 11 and also had six assists and no turnovers. In all, it was a very good day for Tech's guards.

Jeff Allen and Manny Atkins also got into double figures in scoring and Allen had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

The way Tech has played in its last two games against Penn State and Mississippi State is a good sign for those of us who were predicting gloom and doom for this team after its three-game losing streak. The most important thing about Saturday's game was it allowed the Hokies to work on one of their biggest weaknesses: Depth.

Eleven players got into the game against the Bulldogs and Tech had 33 bench points, aided by Hudson's performance. It's a step in the right direction for the Hokies, who have yet to play their best basketball. They're hoping that comes later in the year when they get into the meat of their ACC schedule.

They're also hoping Mississippi State also hasn't played its best basketball. But hopefully the Hokies can take care of business and not rely on the Bulldogs for strength of schedule support.

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