Virginia Tech scored 111 points in their season opening win over Detroit Mercy, but that was nothing compared to what they did on Sunday night. The Hokies beat The Citadel 132-93 to begin their season 2-0, and broke two school records in the process.
With 132 points scored in regulation, the Hokies broke the previous mark of 127 points against William & Mary on January 29, 1973. The Hokies’ overall scoring record is 141 points in double overtime, scored in a 141-133 2OT win over Southern Miss on February 6, 1988.
Tech also broke the single-game assists record against the Citadel with 36. The previous record of 31 was set on December 18, 1982 against South Carolina State. Through the first two games of the season, the Hokies have a total of 57 assists, and like last season, they have the look of a team that is very good at sharing the basketball.
“I think Coach Buzz does a great job recruiting guys that want to play for one another,” junior guard Justin Robinson said after the game. “I think we’re moving the ball, throwing the ‘one mores’ and having multiple paint touches. It’s hard to guard. When we play for one another, it’s really good.”
Robinson scored 19 points and had seven of Virginia Tech’s 36 assists. He made five of his six three-point attempts, which was a career high. It was his best game of the young season, but he was only one of five Hokies who scored in double figures.
Redshirt-sophomore center Kerry Blackshear had the game of the night for the Hokies, finishing with 22 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. He was 9-of-11 from the field, and he had two blocks and a steal in 32 minutes of action. Chris Clarke had Tech’s second double-double of the night, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in just 20 minutes of action. Redshirt-junior wing Ahmed Hill finished with 20 points in 25 minutes.
“I do think that there’s some continuity in how we play relative to sharing the ball,” Buzz Williams said. “I think our new guys have picked it up a little faster than normal because it stands out like a sore thumb when they don’t do exactly that.”
Virginia Tech was 48-of-70 (68.6%) from the field, 12-of-22 (54.5%) from three-point range, and 24-of-36 (66.7%) from the free throw line. They outrebounded The Citadel 51-24. As dominant as the Hokies were offensively, they could have been better. They committed 19 turnovers, including 13 in the second half, yet still managed to score 132 points.
One of the reasons for the high total of points is because of The Citadel’s style of play. Led by former VMI head coach Duggar Baucom, The Citadel’s offense revolves around high-tempo play with lots of shots attempted early in the possession. They attempted 77 shots against the Hokies on Sunday night.
Still, even when you consider the level of competition and the style of play, this VT team is doing things offensively that they haven’t done in a long time. This marks the first time since 1988 that they’ve scored 100 or more points in back-to-back games. That year they beat Cincinnati 102-97, and then lost to Southern Miss 127-102.
“I think it’s so hard to gauge anything when you play a game like that,” Buzz Williams said. “You holler about them giving up 93 points, but there’s 97 possessions in the game. I honestly don’t know how to gauge it because it’s such a unique style of play.”
Virginia Tech will get a greater challenge later this week when they travel to Madison Square Garden to play in the 2K Classic. They’ll face Saint Louis on Thursday night at 7pm on ESPN2. On Friday, they’ll face either Washington or Providence.
“I think we’ll find out a lot,” Williams said. “Detroit was an 89-possession game, tonight was a 97-possession game. I think it’ll be in the 70s both games, depending upon who we play. Obviously, playing at The Garden is a once in a lifetime opportunity, whether you’re a player or a coach or even a fan, in my opinion.”
Game Notes from Virginia Tech
The Hokies scored 132 points. That is the second-highest point total in school history, trailing only a 141-133 double overtime victory over Southern Mississippi in Cassell Coliseum on Feb. 6, 1988. The 132 points is the most points scored by the Hokies in a non-overtime game.
The Hokies have scored at least 111 points in back-to-back games this season. That marks the second time in school history that the Hokies have accomplished that feat. Tech defeated St. Bonaventure, 115-74, in Roanoke on Jan. 3, 1976 and Birmingham Southern, 112-67, in Cassell Coliseum on Jan. 5, 1976.
Tech recorded 36 assists in the victory. That sets a new school record for assists in a game, breaking the old mark of 31, set against South Carolina State on Dec. 18, 1982. The Hokies assisted on 75 percent of their made baskets tonight.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 29 points. He has scored at least 24 points in each of his first two collegiate games. The 29 points is tied for the third-most points in a game for a Virginia Tech freshman and is the most points in a game by a Virginia Tech freshman since Jalen Hudson scored 32 points against Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro on March 10, 2015.
Kerry Blackshear Jr., scored 22 points and added career-highs with 15 rebounds and eight assists. This is his third career double-double.
Justin Robinson scored 19 points and dished out seven assists. This is his 31st career game in double figures.
Ahmed Hill scored 20 points. This is his fifth career game of 20-or-more points.
Chris Clarke scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. It is his seventh career double-double.
The Hokies’ 66 first half points is two points off the school record of 68 points in a first half. The 66 points is the most scored by the Hokies in any half since scoring 73 points in the second half against The Citadel last season. Tech matched the 66 points again in the second half.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (29 points) and Kerry Blackshear Jr. (22 points) scored 20-or-more points in back-to-back games. That’s the first time that feat has occurred at Virginia Tech since Erick Green and Jarell Eddie did it in 2012.
The 93 points scored by The Citadel is the most given up by the Hokies in a non-overtime victory since Jan. 14, 1988, when Tech defeated Cincinnati, 102-97 in Cincinnati.
The 39-point margin of victory tonight is the largest for the Hokies since Tech’s 113-71 win over The Citadel last season.