Eddie got a lot of open looks against Norfolk State and made the Spartans pay, scoring a career-high 24 points and grabbing seven rebounds to lift Virginia Tech past the Spartans 73-60 Sunday.
Eddie, a sophomore, made 6 of 9 from the floor and hit a career-high five 3-pointers. He also connected on all seven of his free throws.
"'Erick is a great penetrator, and when he penetrates to the basket it makes other defenders go to him," Eddie said. "So, him being able to attack the basket like that enables other people to get open shots. I just happened to be the open player today."
The Hokies (7-3) trailed for much of the first half, but Eddie scored six points in a 10-0 Virginia Tech run late in the first half that gave the Hokies the lead for good. Four of those six points came when Eddie hit a 3-pointer, got fouled and made the free throw.
The Spartans (6-4), who have quality victories over Drexel and Texas Christian and lost to Marquette by just two points, kept the game close throughout and cut the lead to 65-59 on Chris McEachin's 3-pointer with 2:58 left in the game. But Virginia Tech's Dorenzo Hudson hit a free throw with 2:05 left to make it 66-59. After McEachin missed a 3-pointer for Norfolk State with 1:40 to go, Eddie put the game away, draining his final 3-pointer with 1:07 remaining to push the Hokies' lead back to 10.
"He's long," Norfolk State coach Anthony Evans said of Eddie. "He's a good shooter, and he can attack the basket a little bit. But a lot of our focus was on (Erick) Green, and Eddie got some open looks and he was able to knock them down."
Green, who led the Hokies in scoring at 17.1 points per game coming in, finished with 12. Cadarian Raines came off the bench to score 10 points and grab seven rebounds for Virginia Tech.
"This was a good win," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. "They're a good team. We're playing the game during finals (exams), and we've had limited practice. We just ground it out. That wasn't an artistic win, but that's a good win, and that's what we need to do."
Norfolk State shot 48.9 percent from the floor (22 of 45), but the Spartans hurt themselves with nine second-half turnovers.
McEachin led Norfolk State with 18 points, hitting 6 of 12 from the floor, including two 3-pointers. Kyle O'Quinn and Pendarvis Williams scored 14 each. O'Quinn, Norfolk State's leading scorer, scored 12 of his 14 in the first half, but spent most of the second half on the bench in foul trouble before fouling out with 4:11 left.
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|South Carolina State||12-4||1||19-15|
|North Carolina Central||7-9||6||13-19|
|North Carolina A&T||7-9||6||10-22|