LAS VEGAS — Little depth equaled little chance for Virginia Tech in the Las Vegas Classic's championship game late Sunday night.
Pierce Hornung had 18 points and 10 rebounds, leading four Rams in double figures, as Colorado State crushed Tech 88-52 at Orleans Arena.
Tech led 6-2, then fell behind and never caught up, despite a late flurry that cut CSU's halftime lead to 33-27.
The second half was an embarrassment for the Hokies, whose two previous losses -- at West Virginia and at home against Georgia Southern -- weren't decided until the final seconds. For example, Robert Brown shot an airball ... on a free throw.
The Rams, after a methodical and balanced approach in the first half, opened the second half on a 12-2 run and went on to outscore the Hokies 55-25 in that period.
Dorian Green also scored 18 points for the Rams (10-2), while Greg Smith had 17 and Colton Iverson -- a 6-foot-10 transfer from Minnesota -- added 15.
Erick Green, the nation's second-ranked scorer with 24.8 points per game, led the Hokies (9-3) with 26 points. Jarell Eddie added 10.
Already short-handed because of transfers after last season and a recent foot injury to freshman Marshall Wood, the Hokies wore down in the second half and were no match for one of the nation's most experienced teams -- a Mountain West squad coming off an at-large NCAA tournament berth.
Playing in front of a sparse crowd, the Rams made a statement in winning the title in front of a nationally televised audience on CBS Sports Network.
While the Hokies couldn't find any consistency on offense, Colorado State shot a blistering 60 percent from the field in the second half, including eight 3-pointers. The Rams took their biggest lead of the game (38 points) with 5:26 left.
The Rams, who entered the week leading the NCAA in rebounding margin at 16.1, have yet to be outrebounded in a game this year. They outrebounded the Hokies 45-32.
After Christmas, the Hokies have another tough road trip to endure, returning west on Dec. 29 to face Brigham Young.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times