November 21, 2015
Balanced attack lifts Hokies past VMI
Seth Allen led Tech five players in double figures with 17 points
VMI (1-2) 292352
Virginia Tech (2-1) 294776
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 5,644
  • High Points: 17 - Seth Allen
  • High Rebounds: 11 - Johnny Hamilton

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech guard Seth Allen scored 17 points to lift Virginia Tech to a 76-52 non-conference victory over VMI at Virginia Tech Carilion Court on Saturday.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 2-1 on the season. VMI, which hasn’t beaten Tech since 2004, fell to 1-2.

Allen, who transferred from Maryland and sat out last season according to NCAA rules, came off the bench for the second straight game after starting the season opener. He hit 5 of 11 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and he also grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists.

Coming into Saturday’s game, he had hit just 4 of 18 from the floor this season.

“I just kept working hard,” Allen said. “I knew if I kept working hard, then it would come to me. I came here at midnight [Friday night] and shot. I came here before shoot-around [Saturday] and shot and shot after shoot-around. I kept doing what I usually do. The game honors hard work and toughness, so I’m just going to keep on working hard.”

“I believe in Seth. Seth is going to make shots,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “We just have to make sure they’re ‘us’ shots. When they’re ‘us’ shots, he’ll do what he did tonight. He’ll shoot 60 percent from 3. He missed a couple of layups that he’ll normally make.

“He was pressing [the first two games]. He wants to do good. He wants to do good for the right reasons. He may have been ballyhooed a little too much. I’m not sure that’s easy to process when you’re 20 years old. He let the game come to him a little more, and he took more ‘us’ shots.”

Chris Clarke scored 14 points for the Hokies, while Zach LeDay had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Robinson and Justin Bibbs each scored 11. Johnny Hamilton had a career-high 11 rebounds.

The game was tied at 31 early in the second half, but the Hokies used a 9-0 run to grab a 40-31 lead and never trailed again. Clarke scored four of the nine in that spurt, as the Hokies gradually pulled away.

VMI’s Julian Eleby stopped the run with a 3-pointer that pulled the Keydets to within 40-34 with 16:06 remaining, but the Keydets hit just one field goal over the next five minutes after Eleby’s basket. VMI made just four of its first 21 attempts from the floor to start the second half.

Allen scored 11 points and hit all three of his 3-pointers in the second half. The Hokies hit all six of their 3-pointers and shot 50 percent (16 of 32) in the final 30 minutes.

They also got to the free-throw line with regularity. Virginia Tech hit 24 of 33 free throws, while VMI shot just six free throws for the game.

“Everything is predicated on paint touches,” Williams said. “If we can get 22 to 26 percent of our points from the free-throw line, there’s probably a lot of good things that are happening.

“The thing that is crushing our numbers thus far is that our turnover percentage is too high. We’ve got to figure out how to calm that down. When we do get a shot, we probably are going to get a paint touch. That means the defense has been forced into rotation, which means we’re shooting an uncontested shot or we’ve gotten fouled. Our numbers on those things specifically the last two games have been really good.”

VMI shot just 25.7 percent (19 of 74) from the floor and made just eight field goals in the second half. Peterson led the Keydets with a season-high 26 points, while Eleby finished with 15.

Tech plays North Carolina A&T at home on Tuesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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