Men’s Basketball: Virginia Tech runs over Colonials

BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 9—This summer, former Virginia Tech point guard Nigel Munson asked to be released from his scholarship in order to transfer. Hokies head coach Seth Greenberg granted the D.C. native’s wish, under one condition: Munson could go anywhere except GW.

Greenberg never publicly gave a reason for his decision, but he stuck it to the GW men’s basketball team again Sunday night. This time the message came on the court during a 68-36 stampede in which the Hokies played like men on a mission, a fact especially apparent when contrasted with the spiritless play of their opponents.

“I know there have got to be some changes,” GW head coach Karl Hobbs said of his 3-4 team. “There were some performances that just aren’t acceptable.”

GW’s 36 points were the lowest during Hobbs’ seven-year tenure. The coach said he was not sure whether he would go back to the drawing board after his team shot 25.9 percent from the field and lost for its third time in four games.

The two teams played at the BB&T Classic last year, when GW escaped with a one-point win after Tech forward Coleman Collins missed a dunk in the game’s final minute. Despite the recent history between the teams, neither coach said the game took on added meaning.

“This is a good win,” Greenberg said matter-of-factly. “You have to win your home games.”

Tech’s early sloppiness kept GW in the game in the beginning, but that only lasted a few minutes. By halftime, the lead was 16; by midway through the second half, it was more than 30. The Colonials looked shell-shocked, unable to slow down their opponents or hold on to the ball.

Offensive sets seemed to be abandoned in favor of quick threes or standing around and watching an overmatched Colonial be denied in the post.

Junior Wynton Witherspoon, who transferred to GW from Virginia Tech before the 2006-2007 season, was greeted with a chorus of boos and chants of “traitor” every time he touched the ball. Witherspoon seemed to try his best to ignore the chants, a response that may have taken part of his attention away from the game and caused him to miss shots early. Witherspoon shot just 3-for-10 but led the team in rebounds and minutes, hustling throughout.

Greenberg had only good things to say about Witherspoon after the game, telling the Atlanta native that he “loved him to death.”

“I think the world of Wynton,” he added. “It will be very easy for me to root for him this year.”

Junior Rob Diggs, GW’s leading scorer coming into the game, was held scoreless in 21 minutes, missing six shots from the field. When given the ball down low, the 6-foot-8 forward was swarmed by aggressive Tech defenders, forcing him to rush a shot or pass. The plays summarized the game as a whole. Their results – usually a Hokie fast break – explained the 32-point margin of victory.

No players were made available for comment.

The Colonials next play Thursday at 1-7 Binghamton (N.Y.).

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