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February 6, 1999

Saturday’s game will mark the 67th meeting between the men’s basketball teams of Virginia Tech and George Washington in a rivalry that began in 1921. GW has tied the all-time series at 33-33 after capturing the last three meetings. Last year, the Colonials won, 75-61, in Washington, D.C. and won in Blacksburg, 64-50. Tech has faced GW more than any opponent it now competes against in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Since the Hokies have joined the conference two years ago, they have won two and lost four against the Colonials. Tech holds a 21-8 record against GW in Blacksburg, including a 14-1 mark at Cassell Coliseum. The Colonials’ first win at Cassell Coliseum came last season.

February, 5, 1999

Virginia Tech (8-11, 3-6) vs. GW (14-5, 8-1) February 6, 1999; 2 p.m.
Cassell Coliseum (10,052); Blacksburg, Va. Series tied at 33-33
Colonials have won last three meetings
Tech looks for third straight A-10 win
TV: A-10 Network (Larry Michael, John Griffin)

Starting Lineups

Virginia Tech (8-11, 3-6)
F – 22 Andr Ray (6-4, 218, r-Jr.)
F – 4 Rolan Roberts (6-6, 237, So.)
C – 31 Russ Wheeler (6-8, 253, Jr.)
G – 55 Eddie Lucas (6-6, 200, r-Sr.)
G – 15 Brendan Dunlop (6-2, 185, Jr.)

George Washington (14-5, 8-1)
F – 15 Antxon Iturbe (6-8, 250, So.)
F – 55 Yegor Mescheriakov (6-9, 238, Sr.)
C – 3 Albert Roma (7-0, 240, Fr.)
G – 5 Mike King (6-4, 182, So.)
G – 54 Shawnta Rogers (5-4, 158, Sr.)

Virginia Tech is in its fourth season as a member of the Atlantic 10 after spending 17 seasons in the Metro Conference. The Hokies posted a 13-3 A-10 mark in 1995-96 and won the league’s West Division regular-season championship. In 1996-97, Tech finished third in the West with a league mark of 7-9 and finished tied for fourth in the West with a conference record of 5-11 last season. The Hokies are 3-6 in conference play this season.

Virginia Tech is 8-11 overall and 3-6 in the Atlantic 10 Conference in its second season under head coach Bobby Hussey. The Hokies got on the winning track in their season opener with a 59-50 home victory over William & Mary. Tech suffered its first loss of the season in its next game when East Tennessee State downed Tech, 57-48, at home. The Hokies captured their second win of the season with an 85-51 victory at Liberty. Coach Hussey recorded his 300th career victory when the Hokies recorded an 83-76 overtime victory over UNC Asheville at Cassell Coliseum. Tech then dropped its next three contests, losing at UNC Charlotte (62-57), falling at home to Wake Forest (52-47) and losing at West Virginia (69-68). The Hokies snapped their three-game losing skid with an 85-65 win over Coastal Carolina. Tech closed out 1998 with a 62-55 win over Winthrop. The Hokies opened Atlantic 10 Conference play with a 55-40 loss at UMass.

Xavier defeated Tech in the Hokies’ Atlantic 10 home opener, 80-67. The Hokies then lost Atlantic 10 road games at St. Joseph’s (78-66) and La Salle (75-67). Tech returned home and fell to St. Bonaventure, 54-50. The Hokies bagged their first Atlantic 10 Conference win at Dayton, 73-64, snapping the Flyers’ 14 game A-10 home win streak. Tech then dropped its next two games, falling at Xavier, 93-69, and to Virginia, 64-55. The Hokies won two straight conference games, capturing an 87-69 decision at home against La Salle and winning 59-58 at Duquesne last Wednesday.

George Washington is 14-5 overall and 8-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Colonials have won five straight games and 10 of their last 11. They own league wins over La Salle (twice), Duquesne (twice), Dayton, St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island and Fordham. GW’s only league defeat was an 81-61 loss at Xavier.

This afternoon’s game will be televised by the Atlantic 10 Television Network. Larry Michael will handle the play-by-play while John Griffin will provide color commentary. Stations covering the game live will be MSG, FoxSports New England, WBGN in Pittsburgh, Empire Sports Network and ESPN Full Court. HTS and WDRL (Roanoke) will air the game on a tape-delay basis.

During Tech’s last 224 games, opposing teams have shot 50 percent or better against the Hokies just 34 times. During that same span, Tech has held its foes to a shooting percentage of less than 40 percent 90 times. Tech held all of its opponents under 50 percent last season, and 10 under 40 percent.

Bobby Hussey (Appalachian State ’62), long regarded as one of college basketball’s top strategists, is in his second season as head coach of the Hokies. Hussey, who served as Bill Foster’s top assistant for six seasons at Tech, took over the Hokies’ coaching duties on the day following Tech’s last game of the 1996-97 season. A former head coach at Belmont Abbey and Davidson, Hussey is in his 28th year as a basketball coach, including 20 years as a head coach. He has been a winner at every stop. In 10 seasons as the head coach at Belmont Abbey, Hussey’s teams posted a 179-111 record, winning 20 or more games each of his last four seasons on the job. Between 1981 and 1989, Hussey guided Davidson to 108 wins, one NCAA Tournament appearance and a pair of 20-win seasons. Before joining Foster at Tech, Hussey spent two years as an assistant at Clemson. His overall record as a collegiate head coach is 305-266.

Virginia Tech coach Bobby Hussey reached a milestone in his long coaching career on December 1 when he recorded his 300th coaching victory. The win came against UNC Asheville, 83-76, at Cassell Coliseum. In 20-plus seasons as a head coach, Hussey is ranked 52nd in victories among Division I coaches, with 305 .

Tom Penders (Connecticut ’67) became the 23rd coach for men’s basketball at The George Washington University on June 18, 1998. Penders came to GW after 10 successful seasons at the University of Texas, where he turned the Longhorns into a nationally respected program. In Austin, Penders recorded a school-record 208 victories, three conference titles and eight NCAA tournaments. Penders, who has never been an assistant, has also held head coaching positions at Rhode Island, Fordham, Columbia and Tufts University.

Virginia Tech is in its 38th season of play at Cassell Coliseum where the men’s basketball teams have compiled 374 victories and just 91 losses – a winning percentage of 80.6. The first basketball game was played in the Coliseum on January 3, 1962 with the Hokies routing Alabama, 91-67. On September 17, 1977, Virginia Tech officials and friends dedicated the Coliseum in honor of the late Stuart K. Cassell. Tech has never finished a season with a losing home record since the Coliseum was opened and has had just one break-even home season. In fact, Tech has won 55 of the last 71 games played at home over the last six years. The Hokies were 8-6 at home last season and are 5-4 this season.

Brendan Dunlop made a pair of free throws with four seconds left to lift Virginia Tech over Duquesne, 59-58, in front of 3,323 fans at the A.J. Palumbo Center last Wednesday. Wayne Smith’s two free throws gave the Dukes a one-point lead with 11 seconds remaining. Tech called time three seconds later and Dunlop was fouled by Courtney Wallace as he drove the lane. Wallace took a desperation shot at the buzzer but his 22-footer hit off the rim. The Hokies got off to a slow start, shooting just 31 percent in the first half. The Dukes led at the half, 24-20. Tech took a seven-point lead with 14 minutes remaining but the two teams exchanged the lead numerous times. The Hokies’ free throw shooting down the stretch and 52 percent shooting in the second half proved to be the difference. Eddie Lucas led Tech with 17 points, while Dunlop scored nine. Smith led Duquesne with 24 points and Wallace added 16.

A CLOSER LOOK Tech’s win over Duquesne was the first time this season that the Hokies had won a game when trailing at halftime. The Dukes led 24-20 at the half. Tech had been 0-8 this year when trailing at the half.

Freshman Dennis Mims (Morganton, N.C.) came off the bench to grab a game-high 10 rebounds and scored eight points against the Dukes. Mims played 27 minutes in the game, mostly for Rolan Roberts who played just 14 minutes after getting into early foul trouble.

The Duquesne game was rough from start to finish. A total of 46 fouls were called in the game, 23 on each team. Incidentally, each team also took 23 free throw attempts. Tech made 16 compared to 12 for the Dukes.

Duquesne won the rebounding war against Tech, 39-34. The Dukes also had the rebounding edge in last year’s two games, a 37-34 edge in the first game and a 38-30 advantage in the second game.

Tech is now 2-2 at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Sophomore forward Rolan Roberts was named All-Atlantic 10 preseason third team at the conference’s media day in Philadelphia. The coaches slated the Hokies for a fourth-place finish in the A-10 West Division, behind Xavier, GW and Dayton but ahead of La Salle and Duquesne. Temple was tabbed to win the A-10 East.

Tall and talented George Washington broke open an airtight game in the final 12 minutes and took a 64-50 decision over Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum on Feb. 25, 1998. The Hokies trailed only 39-38 when GW started its run with 11:09 to go on a pair of free throws by Shawnta Rogers. The Colonials outscored the Hokies 25-12 the rest of the way. It was a rough game from start to finish. A total of 26 fouls were called on Tech, while GW committed 19. Tech managed only 16 field goals. Rogers led GW with 16 points, while Alexander Koul and Francisco de Miranda had 10 each. Rolan Roberts led the Hokies with 18 and Eddie Lucas scored 12.

Hot-shooting by little guard Shawnta Rogers lifted George Washington to a 75-61 victory over Virginia Tech before a sellout crowd of 5,454 at the Smith Center on Jan. 31, 1998. Rogers scored a game-high 24 points, hitting 6-of-8 from 3-point range and also added seven assists. Tech bolted to a 39-34 first-half lead, hitting 55.2 percent of its field goal tries. But the Hokies connected on only 30 percent after intermission and GW took control of the game early in the second half. Rolan Roberts had a big game for Tech, scoring 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds. The only other Tech double-figure scorer was guard Myron Guillory with 13. Mike King had 14 for the Colonials.

GW won for the first time in Blacksburg last season in 40 years. Prior to last year’s 64-50 win, the Colonials had lost 17 straight games against Tech in Blacksburg. The Hokies had beaten the Colonials 14 straight times at Cassell Coliseum since the arena was opened during the 1961-62 season.

Tech had a season-low scoring total against the Colonials with just 50 points. The Hokies made just 16 field goals, also a low for the 1997-98 campaign.

George Washington outrebounded the Hokies, 46-32, one of the widest margins enjoyed by a Tech opponent last season. In the first game, however, Tech had 36 rebounds to 31 for the Colonials at the Smith Center.

Rolan Roberts had 37 points and 13 rebounds in the two games against GW last year.

In the last two meetings at the Smith Center, GW guard Shawnta Rogers has scored 49 points and handed out 14 assists. During the last two meetings in Blacksburg, he has scored a total of 21 points.

GW was 0-for-8 from 3-point range against Tech last year in the game in Blacksburg.

All of Eddie Lucas’ 12 points came on 3-point baskets in the second game against GW. Lucas was 4-of-8 from long range.

Virginia Tech, plagued by injuries this season, recently added a walk-on to its roster. Phillip Smith practiced with the team for the first time on December 9. Smith, from Wachapreague, Va., graduated from Broadwater Academy in 1995 and attended the University of Pennsylvania for two years. The 6-4, 190-pound swingman never saw time in a varsity game at Penn. He then decided to transfer to Tech and spent last year as a student. Smith, now a sophomore athletically, practices with the team but is not eligible to dress for home or away games.

Needless to say, the Hokies were hit by the injury bug in the early part of the season. Tech lost redshirt freshman Clinton McPherson (Miami, Fla.) for the season when he tore the ACL in his right knee in late October. McPherson underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery on November 20 at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg. Redshirt sophomore David Whaley (Sevierville, Tenn.) missed four games after breaking his right hand in basketball practice on November 23. He returned for the Wake Forest game on December 12. Rodrigo Viegas (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) missed the first game of the season with a pulled hamstring in his right leg.

Three of Tech’s players have ties to the Naval Academy. Eddie Lucas (Gaithersburg, Md.), Sean Floyd (Alexandria, Va.) and David Whaley (Sevierville, Tenn.) all transferred to Tech from Navy. Lucas was a starter for the Mids as a sophomore in 1995-96. Floyd played in one game before transferring after his freshman year. Whaley attended the Naval Academy Prep School for a year and spent one semester at Navy before coming to Tech.

Since the three-point rule took effect prior to the 1986-87 season, Tech has made a three-point basket in all but two contests. The Hokies’ three-point streak of 277 games ended during the 1995-96 season against GW. Tech then started a new streak that lasted 69 games before the Dayton game last season. Tech has now made three-pointers in the last 23 games played since Dayton.

The Hokies entered last season having to replace their top five scorers from the previous year. This season, four of the top five scorers have returned, led by Rolan Roberts and his 13.6 ppg. Also back are Russ Wheeler (9.6 ppg), Eddie Lucas (9.1 ppg) and Brendan Dunlop (7.3 ppg).

Last season, Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team selection Rolan Roberts became the first freshman in 20 years to lead Virginia Tech in scoring. He netted 13.6 ppg to place second among rookie scorers in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The last freshman to pace Tech in scoring was Dale Solomon, who averaged 17.8 ppg in 1978-79. Solomon would go on to lead the Hokies in scoring every year of his career.

Roberts also set a Tech freshman record with 60 blocked shots last season, eclipsing the previous mark of 56 set by Bobby Beecher during the 1982-83 season.

Roberts has registered at least one blocked shot in 39 of his 45 games as a Hokie. Last year, he had 60 blocks in 27 games and has 36 in 18 games this year. This season, he had four blocked shots against W&M, UNC Asheville and Xavier, three versus Coastal Carolina, Dayton, Winthrop and La Salle, and two against Liberty, West Virginia, Virginia and St. Joseph’s. He needs nine more blocks to break the Tech record for blocked shots by a sophomore. Both Wayne Robinson (1977-78) and Bobby Beecher (1983-84) had 44 during their sophomore campaign.

Rolan Roberts (Woodbridge, Va.) and Dennis Mims (Morganton, N.C.) were named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week and Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week, respectively, for the week of Nov. 30. Roberts scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a Nov. 24 game against Liberty. Mims also posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds against the Flames. Mims earned his second A-10 Rookie of the Week citation for his performance against Coastal Carolina. He posted a career-high 17 points to go with four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot.

Eddie Lucas (Gaithersburg, Md.) leads Tech in points per game (16.1), 3-point field-goal percentage (48.4) and free-throw percentage (88.6). He has scored 13 or more points in a game 18 times this season and has been Tech’s leading scorer, or has been tied as the Hokies’ leading scorer, in 13 of the 19 games this season. Lucas has been Tech’s leading scorer in 11 of the last 14 games.

Lucas’ only game of not scoring 13 or more points this season came against St. Joseph’s. He missed the majority of the game with a sprained left ankle and scored four points. Since that game, Lucas has averaged 18.0 points in the past seven games, including a career-high 22 against La Salle.

Lucas is back on top of the Atlantic 10 Conference in 3-point field-goal percentage (48.4) and 3-point field goals per game (3.26).

Lucas is 31-of-35 from the free-throw line this season. His percentage of 88.6 percent would rank second in the A-10, but he is shy of the minimum 2.5 free-throw attempts per game needed to be ranked in the conference statistics.

This year, Lucas is averaging over seven points more per game than last year. He is shooting almost 11 percent higher from 3-point range than last year. Lucas has already scored more points than he did last season.

In the latest NCAA Division I men’s basketball statistics, Lucas is ranked 15th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage and 13th in the nation in 3-point field goals per game.

Lucas has shot 56 percent from 3-point range in the past six games. He has hit 30-of-53 shots from long range. In that same span, Lucas has shot 49.4 percent (43-of-87) from the field.

Lucas has taken 128 of his 223 field goal attempts (57.4) percent >from 3-point range.

Rolan Roberts (Woodbridge, Va.) leads the Hokies in blocks (36), steals (32), offensive rebounds (52) and rebounds per game (6.2). He is averaging 13.8 points per game, second on the team to Eddie Lucas. Roberts is shooting 46.3 percent from the field. He is third in the Atlantic 10 Conference in blocked shots with an average of 1.89 per game.

Guard Brendan Dunlop (Bronx, N.Y.) is the third Hokie averaging in double figures this season. He is averaging 10.3 points per game and has had nine games in double figures. Dunlop leads Tech in assists with 81 and is fifth in the Atlantic 10 with an average of 4.3 assists per game. Dunlop scored a career-high 20 points against UNC Asheville earlier this season. He leads the team in minutes played with an average of 35.7 minutes per game.

Dunlop is seven assists shy of matching last year’s total of 88. He is also one point short of matching last year’s total of 197 points.

Freshman Dennis Mims (Morganton, N.C.) is fifth in the Atlantic 10 in blocked shots with an average of 1.56 blocks per game. Despite not starting a game this year, he has had six double-digit scoring performances, including 15 against St. Joseph’s and 11 against La Salle. Mims has upped his scoring average to 7.7 points per game and is shooting a team-best 51.9 percent from the floor.

Center Russ Wheeler (Dalton, Ga.) has turned up the heat in Atlantic 10 Conference games this season. He is averaging 8.8 points per game in A-10 games, compared to 7.7 points per game as his season average. He is Tech’s second-leading rebounder with an average of 5.8 per game.

The Hokies have 102 total blocks through 19 games, an average of 5.4 per game, which ranks first in the Atlantic 10. Nine different Hokies have tallied blocked shots thus far this year, led by sophomore Rolan Roberts’ 36 blocks and freshman Dennis Mims’ 28 swats. Tech holds a 102-60 advantage over its opponents in blocked shots. The Hokies are 13 blocks shy of matching last year’s total of 115 blocked shots.

Seven of Tech’s 11 players are playing more than 15 minutes per game, led by Brendan Dunlop’s 35.7 minutes a game. The Hokies’ five starters are playing more than 24.2 minutes a game.

In Tech’s last five A-10 games, the Hokies have shot 47.3 percent >from the field. Tech has shot 50 percent or higher in three of the last six games.

Tech’s five starters have accounted for 79.2 percent (972 of 1,227) of the total points scored this season.

Through 19 games this season, Tech and its opponents have each scored 1,227 points, an average of 64.6 per game.

Tech has used the same starting lineup in 18 of its 19 games so far this season. Brendan Dunlop, Eddie Lucas, Rolan Roberts and Russ Wheeler have started all 19 games. Jermaine Kimbrough (Shaker Heights, Ohio) started in place of Andr Ray (Lillington, N.C.) for the Liberty contest. Ray missed the game due to a death in the family.

Virginia Tech Sports Today airs weekly through the end of March. The 30-minute show includes highlights, features and interviews on Virginia Tech athletics. The show airs on the following stations: WSLS, Roanoke (noon, Sunday); WKPT, Bristol/Johnson City/Kingsport (12:30 p.m., Sunday); WPEN, Norfolk/Portsmouth/Virginia Beach (9:30 p.m., Tuesday); and Home Team Sports (4 p.m., Tuesday).

Notes , releases and stats on Virginia Tech basketball are available on Tech’s official website (

The Atlantic 10 Conference on the World Wide Web is accessible 24 hours a day at The site contains current information on all facets of the Atlantic 10 Conference. During basketball season, standings, notes, schedules/results, statistics, breaking news and other pertinent information will be updated on a weekly basis.

The Hokies will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 10 for an Atlantic 10 Conference game with Rhode Island. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum. The two teams will be meeting for the seventh time. The Rams hold a 4-2 advantage in the series and have swept the last four meetings. Following next Wednesday’s game, Tech hits the road next Saturday, Feb. 13 for a conference game at Fordham. That game is scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m. at Rose Hill Gymnasium in Bronx, N.Y. The Tech-Fordham game will be televised by the Atlantic 10 Television Network.

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