Virginia Tech overcame a 44-40 halftime deficit to blow out The Citadel 113-71 on Saturday afternoon in Cassell Coliseum. The victory makes the Hokies 9-1 on the season, while The Citadel dropped to 7-5.
After playing a poor first half, Tech won the second half 73-27. 73 points is the most points the Hokies have ever scored in a half, breaking their previous record of 68 against South Carolina State in 1982. Tech also finished the game with 30 assists, which was just one shy of the school record also set in that South Carolina State game.
The hero of the game was Chris Clarke, who finished with the first triple-double in Virginia Tech history. The sophomore wing had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. His final assist came on the last play of the game, when freshman center Khadim Sy hit an unlikely deep three-pointer just before the buzzer.
“He’s a matchup horror movie,” Buzz Williams said of Clarke following the game.
Other Tech players were also very complimentary of Clarke.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever played with anyone who got a triple-double before,” Ahmed Hill said.
Hill led the Hokies with 22 points. He was 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-6 from three-point range. Hill also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out four assists. He is now 29-of-63 (46.8%) from three-point range this season.
Hill was one of seven Hokies to score in double figures, joining Zach LeDay (16), Khadim Sy (14), Justin Robinson (14), Justin Bibbs (14), ), Ty Outlaw (14) and Chris Clarke (13). As a team, Tech shot 42-of-69 (60.9%) from the floor and 11-of-18 (61.1%) from three-point range.
The biggest change from the first half to the second half was Tech’s defense. After The Citadel scored 44 points and shot 45.9% from the field in the first half, they scored just 27 second half points and shot just 11-of-39 (28.2%) from the field.
“We just guarded somebody (in the second half),” Zach LeDay said. “We just went out there and guarded somebody and finished possessions.”
Buzz Williams noted that the Hokies didn’t make many adjustments at halftime. Instead, they improved their mentality.
“I don’t know that we made any adjustments on either end,” Williams said. “I just think our mentality was much different.”
The Hokies are now 9-1 on the season with two non-conference games remaining. They’ll take on Charleston Southern on Tuesday night at 9pm in Cassell Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 9pm, and the game will be televised by ESPNU.
Game Notes Provided by Virginia Tech
Chris Clarke finished the game with a triple-double, with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. It is the first triple-double in Virginia Tech history.
Khadim Sy tied a career-high with 14 points. He was 6-of-6 from the field, including his first-ever three-point basket.
Ahmed Hill scored 22 points. That sets a new career-high for him. He had 20 points in the win over Ole Miss on Sunday.
Ty Outlaw scored 14 points and grabbed seven rbounds. Both are highs for him at Virginia Tech. He was 5-of-7 from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range.
Justin Bibbs scored 14 points. It is his fifth double-figure game of the season
Zach LeDay scored 16 points. He has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.
Justin Robinson scored 14 points. This is his sixth game in double figures this season.
The Hokies had seven players score in double figures, the most since Tech placed seven players in double figures in a 104-74 win over Rider on Dec. 19, 1984 in Cassell Coliseum. Last season, six players scored in double figures on Dec. 13, 2015 in a win over Lamar.
The Hokies scored 113 points. That is the most since scoring 116 points in a double overtime win over Duquesne on March 18, 2009. It is the most points for the Hokies in a regulation game since a 115-87 win over Florida Atlantic on Dec. 28, 1993. It is the most in a home regulation game since Feb. 13, 1988, when the Hokies defeated Cincinnati, 115-11, in a Metro Conference game.
Tech won by 42 points. That is the Hokies’ largest margin of victory since defeating Monmouth, 91-46, in a Preseason NIT game in Cassell Coliseum on Nov. 14, 2011.
The Hokies used the same starting line-up today as in the first nine games of the season.