NCAA

Virginia Tech upsets No. 15 Oklahoma State, 81-71

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Virginia Tech upsets No. 15 Oklahoma State, 81-71

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- For an out-of-conference coach, Oklahoma State's Travis Ford has probably seen more of Virginia Tech and Erick Green in the last three years than anyone in the country. After Saturday afternoon, Ford will be pleased never to see them again.

Green scored 28 points and hit eight critical free throws in the final 76 seconds as Virginia Tech continued its surprising start under new coach James Johnson, beating the No. 15 Cowboys (5-1) for the fourth time in the past three seasons.

"He's one of the best guards in the country, one of the best point guards in the county, bar none," Ford said of Green, who did all his scoring and grabbed seven rebounds in just 26 minutes after drawing two fouls in the first three minutes.

The Hokies, picked to finish 10th in the ACC, are off to their first 7-0 start since the 1982-83 season, and their victory was their first nonconference triumph against a ranked team since they beat Virginia in December 1995 at Roanoke Coliseum.

"I think people were sleeping on us because of the coaching change and because of the players that left," Green, thee Hokies' lone senior, said. "But I hope that we've shown people we can play with anybody and that we're a great team.

"We've got to keep it going. Consistency is the key," Green said.

Robert Brown added 18 points and Jarell Eddie had 15 with 12 rebounds for the Hokies, who outrebounded the taller, more athletic Cowboys 41-31 and scored 22 points off their 13 offensive rebounds. The victory finished a week that started with a 95-79 blowout of Iowa in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, a game that many viewed as their first real test of the year.

"Coach Johnson told us that we could do anything we wanted if we put our mind to it as a team, and everyone is putting their minds to one game at a time and winning that game," Brown, a sophomore guard, said. "We've done it so far."

Le'Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart scored 18 each to lead the Cowboys (5-1).

Smart hadn't played in those earlier losses, but heard all about them this week.

"We were pretty amped up knowing that they beat us in those two meetings last season, and we knew they were going to be pumped up, especially with us in the top 15," Smart said. "We knew we were going to have to come and play."

The game was close throughout, especially after Tech saw an eight-point led cut to 69-66 on Markel Brown's deep 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:22 remaining. Then Green took over, and the Hokies were in good hands.

Brown missed the front end of a one-and-one for Virginia Tech, but as Oklahoma was setting up its offense, Green stole the ball and was fouled driving toward the basket. He made both, pushing the Hokies' lead to 71-66. Nash made 1 of 2 at the other end, and Green was fouled again with 53.8 seconds left. He made both again, and the lead climbed to 73-67.

"We had a few misses, but at the end, when it counted, everyone hit them," Green said.

He finished the game having made 51 of his last 53 from the line.

Green played only nine minutes in the first half after drawing two quick fouls, but still scored 10 points in his time. He also scored the Hokies' first 10 points of the second half on a pair of 3-pointers, two free throws and a long fadeaway.

"Even the guys told me they were going to feed off me and that I was going to have a big second half," Green said. "I had a challenge in front of me and wanted to show people that I could play with the best. Hopefully, I showed people that."

Jarell Eddie's 3-pointer gave Virginia Tech a 49-46 lead with 15 minutes left. Forte scored for Oklahoma State, and Robert Brown, answered, putting back his own miss. Smart's drive cut the Hokies' lead to 51-50 with 13:17 to go, but the Cowboys didn't score against for 5:05 as the Hokies reeled off seven straight.

The Cowboys used a 9-2 run featuring five points by Smart to close to 60-59, but after the Hokies' Robert Brown and the Cowboys' Kamari Murphy traded baskets, Virginia Tech scored seven of the next nine.

The Cowboys led 36-32 at a first half in which both teams took turns going on short scoring bursts.

The biggest of those was an early 10-0 run by Oklahoma State that gave it a 12-7 lead. The score remained close until 3-pointers by Smart and Forte around an inside basket by Michael Cobbins gave the Cowboys a 34-26 lead. Virginia scored six of the last eight points in the half to get within four at the break.

The last three meetings were in preseason tournaments in 2010 and 2011, and a scheduled game Dec. 31, 2011 in Stillwater.

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.