Forward Rolan Roberts and guard Brian Chase each scored 14 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 79-71 victory over Illinois State today in the opening round of the San Juan Shootout at the Mario Morales Coliseum.
Chase, a 1999 All-Met at Dunbar High, was playing in his first game for Virginia Tech. He enrolled at Tech for the second semester after spending the first semester at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia.
Roberts (Potomac High, Va.) added five rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals for the Hokies (5-3), who trailed 49-39 at halftime.
A three-pointer by Roberts early in the second half pulled the Hokies to 51-46, and they took the lead for good at 56-54 on a tip-in by John Smith with 12:27 left.
Illinois State (2-6) closed to 75-69, but a steal by Chase led to a breakaway dunk by Andre Ray with 31 seconds left.
Ray added 13 points and Brendan Dunlop had 10 for Virginia Tech.
Tarise Bryson paced the Redbirds with 18 points. Andy Strandmark, Rich Beyers and L. Dee Murdock had 12 each.
In Tuesday's semifinals, Virginia Tech will meet No. 7 Auburn, a 109-52 winner today over Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.