Virginia Tech blew out Miami (OH) 78-63 on Wednesday night in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. The Hokies improved to 3-2 on the young season, while the Redhawks dropped to 2-3. Tech finished in third place in the Cancun Challenge.
Tech led 39-17 at halftime and later led by as many as 29 points in the second half. However, they got sloppy down the stretch with such a big lead, and the Redhawks were able to cut the final margin to 15 points. Though the Hokies played a much better game overall on Wednesday than they did against Appalachian State and Northern Iowa, Buzz Williams can still use the end of last night’s game as a teaching moment.
Freshman guard Justin Bibbs had 22 points on 5-of-6 shooting from three-point range. He was also 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He set a new career high in points, and he would have been Tech’s leading scorer were in not for Adam Smith. Smith dropped 26 points on the Redhawks. He was 9-of-14 from the field, 5-of-7 from three-point range and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Smith also added six rebounds.
Joey van Zegeren had eight points and nine rebounds. Tech outrebounded Miami 35-25, marking the first time this season they have outrebounded an opponent. The Hokies also forced 22 turnovers.
However, the Hokies also had 22 turnovers of their own. Despite his great scoring night, Justin Bibbs had six turnovers, and fellow freshman Ahmed Hill had five. Some of that was late sloppiness in a blowout win. However, much of it came earlier in the game. That’s something that Buzz Williams will certainly address with his team.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Sunday when they host Morgan State in Cassell Coliseum at 3pm. The game can be viewed online on ESPN3.
Highlights below are courtesy of Niemo of TechHoops.com.