December 13, 2015
Six score in double figures as Hokies roll past Lamar
Former Tech player and assistant coach Tic Price suffers defeat in return to alma mater
Lamar (5-4) 233053
Virginia Tech (7-3) 513788
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 4,870
  • High Points: 19 - Zach LeDay
  • High Rebounds: 10 - Kerry Blackshear Jr., Zach LeDay

BLACKSBURG – Former Virginia Tech player Tic Price, who was part of the Hokies’ 1979 Metro Conference Tournament championship squad, returned to Blacksburg on Sunday as the head coach of the Lamar Cardinals.

His visit to his alma mater will not leave him with pleasant memories.

“Boy, this is a helluva way to be welcomed home, isn’t it?” Price said with a laugh after the game.

Zach LeDay scored 19 points and Justin Bibbs added 17 points to lead the Hokies to an 88-53 victory over Lamar at Virginia Tech Carilion Court.

LeDay hit 8 of 13 from the floor and grabbed 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season, and the Hokies had six players reach double figures for the first time this season.

Bibbs tied a career high with five 3-pointers and connected on 6 of 12 from the floor. His 17 points equaled a season high.

Bibbs hit his first 3-pointer 16 seconds into the game. Tech (7-3) scored the first 12 points of the game and never trailed.

“This is the first time in my life that I haven’t pulled for Virginia Tech,” Price said. “Since I was a part of the program, I’ve always wanted to see Virginia Tech do well and want to see them win. Coming here didn’t feel any different. I’ve got a job to do. It’s business as usual for me. I just wish we could have won the basketball game, but we didn’t. We’ve got to learn from this and grow from it.”

Lamar (5-4) missed its first seven shots from the floor and didn’t score until Marcus Owens’ field goal with 14:22 left in the first half.

The Hokies hit 54.3 percent of their shots (19 of 35) in the first half, including six 3-pointers. Jalen Hudson scored 13 points and Bibbs had 11 in the first half, and the two combined for five of Tech’s six 3-pointers.

Bibbs hit 5 of 9 from beyond the arc for the game and is now shooting better than 62 percent from beyond the arc for the season.

“It’s like practice shots,” Bibbs said. “My feet are set. My teammates are getting into the lane and kicking it out, and I’m wide open. It’s not anything crazy that’s working out for me. I’m just getting set shots, and I practice those. I’m not going to force anything. I’m just going to let it come to me and take them if I’m open.”

The Hokies were up 51-23 at halftime, and the 51 points marked the most they’ve scored in a half this season. They led by as many as 40 in the second half in winning their third straight game and their fourth in the past five games.

“Momentum is the hardest thing to get in life, but it’s harder to keep,” Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “We do have a little bit of momentum, but we also have a lot of ground to make up. We don’t want to get too carried away. Alabama State did beat us [85-82]. Northwestern beat us [81-79 in OT]. We weren’t even in the game against Iowa State from the jump tip [99-77]. But I am pleased with the maturity of our group. Even the untrained eye can see that the confidence is rising.”

Owens and Nick Garth led the Cardinals with 12 points.

The Hokies held Lamar to just 33.3 percent shooting (18 of 54) for the game. Garth, the Cardinals’ leading scorer at 15.5 points per game, hit just 4 of 13 from the floor. Lincoln Davis, who was averaging 12.3 points, scored just two and did not hit a field goal.

Hudson scored 14 for the Hokies. Kerry Blackshear, Jr., and Chris Clarke each finished with 11, and Seth Allen had 10.

Tech plays at home against Grambling State next Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.

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