Hokies Rout Spartans 74-51, Await #1 UNC

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Virginia Tech continued their dominance over schools from the state of North Carolina, downing UNC Greensboro 74-51 in the Greensboro Coliseum on Wednesday night. The Hokies are 5-0 against teams from the Tar Heel state, and they improve to 12-4 overall, with a 2-0 record in ACC play. UNC Greensboro drops to 7-9.

Virginia Tech got a balanced scoring attack from their lineup, and as usual they were led by their outstanding backcourt. Zabian Dowdell led the Hokies in scoring with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He was 4-of-5 from three-point range. Despite playing only eight minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, Jamon Gordon finished with 10 points and five assists.

Sophomore forward A.D. Vassallo came off the bench to score 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Vassallo was 4-of-6 from three-point range. As a team, the Hokies were 10-of-15 from three-point range, good for 66.7%. They shot 48.3% from the field overall.

Coleman Collins scored in double figures for the third straight game. He scored 10 points, all of which came in the second half. At one point, he had dunks on three consecutive Virginia Tech possessions.

Deron Washington followed up his great performance against Duke with another solid game against the Spartans. The sophomore wing finished with eight points, eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.

The story of the night was Virginia Tech’s defense. UNC Greensboro shot just 29.1% from the field and 18.2% from three-point range. The Spartans’ only offense came from junior forward Kyle Hines, who finished with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting. The rest of the team shot just 8-of-40 from the floor.

The Hokies never trailed in the game, and UNC Greensboro couldn’t even manage to tie the game at any point. Tech got off to a great start on a three-pointer by Zabian Dowdell, as the Hokies controlled the game from the opening tip.

The only reason the Spartans stayed in the game was the play of Kyle Hines. Hines scored 16 of their 24 first half points, and 14 of their first 16 points of the game. The Hokies led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but a three-pointer by Kendall Toney with 35 seconds left in the first half cut the lead to 36-24, and Tech took that lead into the halftime intermission.

Toney’s jumper near the end of the half was the only field goal made in the first half by any UNC Greensboro player other than Kyle Hines.

The Spartans played well at the beginning of the second half, cutting Virginia Tech’s lead to 38-30 on a layup by Hines 18:08 mark. But that’s as close as they got, as the Hokies put a 17-0 run on UNC Greensboro that was capped by a Coleman Collins layup with 13:19 left in the game. Collins scored all 10 of his points during the run, and Tech jumped out to a 55-30 lead.

The Hokies took their biggest lead of the game when A.D. Vassallo drained a three-pointer with 10:47 remaining to make the score 63-33. From that point, Tech coasted for the easy 74-51 victory.

The Hokies return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host #1 North Carolina. It will be the first time that Virginia Tech has hosted the #1 team in the nation since Marcus Camby and UMass beat the Hokies 74-58 in 1996. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30, and the game will be televised by ABC.

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