The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team knocked off their second cupcake of the season on Tuesday night, defeating West Florida 95-47 in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies improved to 2-0 on the season, and now look forward to playing in the Old Spice Classic over Thanksgiving weekend.
Four Virginia Tech players scored in double figures against the Argonauts. A.D. Vassallo paced the Hokies with 26 points off the bench. He was 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-7 from three-point range. He also knocked down all five of his free throw attempts and pulled down six rebounds from his small forward position.
Tech’s starting small forward, Deron Washington, also had a good game. Washington finished with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He was 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Washington also had six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 20 minutes of action.
The senior backcourt combo of Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell played well, as usual. Dowdell 17 points, dished out two assists and had three steals. Gordon filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, two rebounds, nine assists, two blocks, two steals and just one turnover.
On the downside, the Hokies didn’t get much production from their post players. Starters Coleman Collins and Robert Krabbendam combined for just 12 points and five rebounds. Collins did have three blocks, and Krabbendam had two steals. Seth Greenberg noted during his postgame interview that Collins is nursing a leg injury. Backup forward Cheick Diakite scored three points and grabbed six rebounds.
The Hokies shot an even 50% for the game, knocking down 35 of their 70 shots from the field. They also connected on seven of their 20 three pointers, good for 35%. They struggled from the free throw line yet again, hitting just 18-of-29 for 62.1%.
For the second consecutive game, the Hokies out-rebounded their opponent, this time by a margin of 40 to 32. They committed just 11 turnovers, while forcing 29. They also blocked 10 shots.
West Florida tried to make this a game early. The Hokies’ defense was porous early in the game, and a three-pointer by Daniel Alcorn at the 14:14 mark cut the Tech lead to 15-13. But Virginia Tech responded with a 9-1 run to take a 24-14 lead with 11:32 left in the first half. From there, the Hokies cruised to the easy victory.
Virginia Tech went on an even bigger run to close out the half. West Florida trailed by just 12, 39-26, with 4:33 remaining in the first half. But the Hokies finally quit playing around and ripped off a 15-0 run to close the half. A.D. Vassallo scored three of their last four baskets of the half, including a three-pointer with 20 seconds remaining. The Hokies went into the intermission with a 53-26 lead.
Tech gradually extended their lead in the second half, and their 48 point margin of victory was their largest lead of the game. Fittingly, Vassallo hit two free throws with 26 seconds left in the game to close the scoring.
Play was halted early in the second half because the main lights in Cassell Coliseum went out. After power was restored, it was lights out for the Argonauts, as the Hokies ran away with the game.
Virginia Tech will return to action on Thanksgiving Night when they play Western Michigan in their first game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando Florida. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.