November 20, 2008
Hokies down Fairfield, 74-57, in Puerto Rico
Vassallo scores 24 points in homecoming
Fairfield (1-2) 312657
Virginia Tech (3-0) 403474
  • Colieso de Puerto Rico, San Juan, P.R. - 3,217
  • High Points: 24 - A.D. Vassallo
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Jeff Allen

SAN JUAN, P.R. – Virginia Tech used hot shooting and solid defense to defeat Fairfield, 74-57, in the first game of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip Off in San Juan, P.R., on Thursday afternoon.

Senior A.D. Vassallo, a native of nearby Toa Baja, P.R., led all scorers with a season-high 24 points. Sophomore Jeff Allen added 18 points, eight rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots and sophomore Malcolm Delaney scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

The Hokies, now 3-0 on the season, jumped out to a 24-11 lead midway through the first half, but Fairfield used three-pointers to cut the led to 40-31 at the intermission. The Stags eventually cut the score to 51-47, with 12:38 remaining, but Tech then went on a 23-6 run to secure the win.

“We made stops and then made some plays," head coach Seth Greenberg said.."When we get stops, we were pretty good. We still have to get better defensively, but we got some stops.”

Herbie Allen scored 11 points and Anthony Johnson scored 10 to lead Fairfield, now 1-2 overall, The Stags made five of their seven three-point baskets in the first half.

The Hokies’ other native Puerto Rican, forward Victor Davila from Canovanas, had another strong game. The freshman, playing just his third collegiate game, played 17 minutes and scored nine points in the victory. Tech’s four post players, Davila, Allen, senior Cheick Diakite and junior Lewis Witcher combined for 13-of-16 from the field, for 81.3 percent.

Tech held Fairfield to 20-of-54 from the field, for 37.0 percent and just 28 percent from three-point range. The Hokies blocked eight shots on the afternoon and hit on a season-high nine-of-21 from three-point range. Tech won the battle of the boards, 32-30 and shot a season-high 56.3 percent from the field.

“I think a tournament like this helps you for post season," Greenberg said. "Fairfield has the chance of being an NCAA team. They beat Siena twice last year. So they are a good team; they didn’t graduate anyone. I want to use this tournament to find out who we are. We play seven games in the first 17 days. We have to get ready for something special, but we have to take care of the games we are supposed to win and see how much better we can get.”

The Hokies will play Xavier on Friday at 2:30 p.m., AST, which means a 1:30 p.m., EST tip-off. Xavier defeated Missouri, 75-71, in the second game of the early session.

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