BLACKSBURG — The nation’s scoring leader had another stellar outing for Virginia Tech on Thursday, even against one of the country’s stingiest defenses.
But Virginia held Erick Green’s supporting cast in check.
UVa sank 11 3-pointers and cruised to a 74-58 win, leaving Cassell Coliseum victorious for the third straight season.
Green scored a career-high 35 points, but the rest of the Hokies (11-7, 2-3 ACC) mustered just 23 points combined.
“For him to go out there and give his all and … have a phenomenal game tonight, it’s really frustrating when you can’t get his supporting cast to step up and help him,” Tech forward Jarell Eddie said. “We can’t have Erick playing his butt off every night for us and guys not stepping up. It’s going to be really hard to win games that way.”
UVa (13-5, 3-2), which led the entire second half, recorded its most lopsided win in the rivalry since November 2000.
“This is frustrating because this game don’t just mean something to us, but we represent our whole school,” Green said. “They just beat us, hands down.”
Evan Nolte had 18 points and five 3-pointers for UVa, which scored more than 61 points for the first time in ACC play this season. Joe Harris added 17 points and four 3-pointers.
UVa entered the game ranked last in the ACC in scoring offense (62.1 ppg) but shot 51 percent from the field against Tech, which entered the game ranked last in the ACC in scoring defense (74.1 ppg).
Virginia was 11 of 23 from 3-point range.
“I know we took a lot of 3s, but … Tech was really jamming the lane,” UVa coach Tony Bennett said. “We’re not a great offensive team — I don’t pretend to be — but I want us to be a great team that executes and gets as good a looks as possible.
“Twenty-three 3s is a lot, but they were for the most part open.”
This was the first time this season UVa made at least 10 3-pointers. It was the sixth time this season that the Hokies allowed at least 10 3-pointers.
“It’s just a lack of attention to detail,” Green said. “Pay attention in the scouting report. The coach exactly said, ‘Do not go underneath screens, do not trail screens.’ ”
Four UVa players scored in double figures, but Green was the only Hokie to do so.
“I look at Green’s points and I thought for the most part we made him earn them, but I didn’t realize he had that many,” Bennett said. “[The plan] was make Erick earn his looks and then the other guys, just nothing easy.”
Green was 11 of 18 from the field.
“I’ve got confidence in my game,” Green said.
But does Green have confidence in his teammates? The rest of the Hokies were just 8 of 25 from the field combined.
“I’ve still got faith in all these guys,” Green said. “They’re just kind of in a slump.”
The Cavaliers have held each of their five ACC foes to less than 60 points. UVa entered the game ranked second nationally in scoring defense (50.6 ppg).
Eddie, who was guarded by Harris, was just 2 of 11 from the field.
“They pressured me when I got the ball,” said Eddie, who had nine points and nine rebounds. “They closed out hard when I got my shots.”
“Two airballs from Jarell Eddie to start the game, when’s the last time we’ve seen that?” Tech coach James Johnson said.
Robert Brown’s shooting slump continued. He was 0 of 3 from the field.
“Brown, he’s still in a little bit of a funk,” Johnson said. “It’s not anything that Virginia did; he’s been playing that way.”
The Hokies mustered just two fast-break points.
“We couldn’t stop them and get out in transition,” Johnson said.
Down 17-10, UVa went on an 24-2 run to gain a 34-19 lead with 1:56 to go in the first half. UVa had six 3-pointers in the run.
Virginia led 34-25 at halftime. The Hokies made just two baskets in the final nine minutes of the half. Harris had four of UVa’s eight 3-pointers in the half.
The Hokies missed nine free throws (15 of 24) in the game and committed 14 turnovers.
Tech’s Marshall Wood, who had missed the past seven games with a broken foot, played seven minutes Thursday.
UVa, which played without injured forward Darion Atkins for the second straight game, has the same conference record as Duke, North Carolina and Florida State.
North Carolina State (4-2 ACC) is in second place in the league, behind Miami (5-0 ACC) but one-half game in front of UVa, Duke, UNC and FSU.