Virginia Tech was red-hot from the field in the first half and used the first 20 minutes of basketball to propel themselves to an easy 99-73 victory over High Point in Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night. The Hokies improved to 2-0 on the young season, while the Panthers dropped to 1-1.
Tech was 23-of-32 (71.9%) from the field in the first half, and 8-of-14 (57.1%) from three-point range. The Hokies made 14 of their first 15 shots, and at a later point during the first 20 minutes, the Hokies were 17-of-21 from the field. High Point never led, as Tech repeatedly beat them off the dribble to get to the basket, which gave the Hokies numerous easy layups and also many wide open shots from the outside.
“We wanted to push it more with the pass than we did with the dribble,” senior guard Seth Allen said after the game. “We really played together tonight, and our team chemistry was great.”
Allen was one of four Hokies in double figures, scoring 17 points to go along with five assists. Ahmed Hill, a r-sophomore who missed last season with a knee injury, paced Tech with 20 points. He was 7-of-12 from the field and 6-of-11 from three-point range.
Hill, who worked tirelessly in the offseason to improve his outside jumper, noted that all his hard work is starting to pay off.
“My teammates found me, and all credit goes to them,” he said.
His improvement is not lost on his teammates.
“It’s like Med 2.0,” Chris Clarke said. “I love playing with him like this because he can drive and he can shoot. He plays hard. He gets me going because he’s just as competitive as me.”
Clarke finished with nine points, five rebounds and six assists. Freshman center Khadim Sy had 14 points and six rebounds in 17 minutes, while Zach LeDay finished with 12 points off the bench.
“24 assists to nine turnovers, and two of those turnovers were offensive fouls,” Buzz Williams said. “I just thought that Seth’s composure was that of a redshirt-senior, I thought Chris played really well. As far as finding the open man in transition, I think he’s lethal.”
Great ball movement and poor High Point defense helped the Hokies take an incredible 60-34 lead at halftime. Tech was just eight points away from tying their single game record for points in the first half, which came way back in 1982 against South Carolina State. They led by as many as 33 points in the first half when a dunk by Zach LeDay made the score 60-27.
After such a hot start, the Hokies naturally cooled off, but they still won the game handily and shot 56.1% from the field in the process. Tech is shooting 50.8% through the first two games, and they have a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (38-19).
The Hokies return to action on Saturday night when they host I-81 rival VMI. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm in Cassell Coliseum, and the game will be shown online by ACC Network Extra.
Ahmed Hill scored a career-high 20 points. It is the second time this season he has scored in double figures and the 14th time in his Virginia Tech career.
Hill also recorded a career-high six made three-pointers. He tied a career-high with four assists.
Seth Allen scored 17 points. It marked his first double figures scoring game of the season and the 30th of his Virginia Tech career.
Zach LeDay scored 12 points. It is the second time this year and the 31st time in his Virginia Tech career he has reached double figures.
Khadim Sy scored 14 points. It is the first double-figure scoring game of his career.
Chris Clarke dished out a career-high six assists. It is the most assists by a Hokie in a game since Justin Robinson had eight assists on March 5, 2016 in the home win over No. 7 Miami.
The Hokies scored 60 first half points. It is the most points in a half since Nov. 18, 2013, when Tech had 61 second half points in a home win over VMI. It is the most first half points for the Hokies since joining the ACC in the 2004-05 season. It is eight points short of the school record for points in the first half of a game.
The Hokies shot 56.1 percent from the field, the best in a game since shooting 61.0 percent in the win over Liberty on Nov. 19, 2014.
Tech had 24 assists in the game. It’s the most in a single game for the Hokies since Tech had 25 assists in a win over Charleston Southern on Jan. 7, 2008.
The Hokies held the Panthers to just three offensive rebounds.
The Hokies made 14 of their first 15 field goal attempts.
The Hokies are now 2-1 all-time against the Panthers.