Hill's career night part of Tech's huge win over High Point
The redshirt sophomore scored a career-high 20 points and hit six 3-pointers in the Hokies' 99-73 victory
November 15, 2016
|High Point (1-1)||34||39||73|
|Virginia Tech (2-0)||60||39||99|
BLACKSBURG – Ahmed Hill scored a career-high 20 points to pace four Virginia Tech player sin double figures, as the Hokies cruised to a 99-73 non-conference victory over High Point at Virginia Tech Carilion Court on Tuesday night.
With the win, the Hokies moved to 2-0 on the season, while High Point fell to 1-1.
Hill missed last season with a knee injury, but in the second game in his return, he hit 7 of 12 from the floor and connected on a career-high six 3-pointers for the Hokies (2-0), who never trailed and hit 12 3-pointers. Seth Allen added 17 points, while Khadim Sy finished with 14 and Zach LeDay had 12.
“I thought we made a distinct step in the right direction,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “I didn’t think we were bad in game 1, but I thought we were trying to justify too much of our inadequacies and playing it on, ‘Well, it was game 1.’ We’ve got a 10-day road trip coming, and we need to hurry up and get off of that and take the next step. I thought, for sure, we did that.”
Tech blitzed the Panthers right from the opening tip. The Hokies made 14 of their first 15 shots, including six 3-pointers in racing to a 24-point lead less than nine minutes into the game. Hill hit half of his 3-pointers in that stretch.
“We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy, and we knew we had to play defense from the start,” Hill said. “Once we all locked in defensively, the offense came easily. We knew what shots we could get and we knew what shots we couldn’t get, so we had great flow.”
High Point had no answer for the Hokies on the perimeter, as Hill and Allen combined for 25 of the Hokies’ 60 first-half points. Virginia Tech shot 71.9 percent (23 of 32) in the first half and hit eight 3's. The Hokies shot 56.1 percent for the game (37 of 66).
Trailing 60-43 at halftime, High Point got no closer than 20 in the second half. Andre Fox paced High Point with a career-high 23 points.
HILL’S CAREER NIGHT
Hill’s 20 points surpassed his previous career high of 19, which came against Florida State in 2015. He was a 3-pointer away from tying the single-game school record held by teammate Justin Bibbs. He also set career highs in field goals made and 3-pointers attempted.
“I was comfortable coming into the season, but I’m still shocked that I’m playing this way,” Hill said. “I was still kind of nervous, not as much as I was, but I was a little nervous. I think I get nervous every game. We’ll see as the season goes on.”
“I don’t know that I could have necessarily predicted his field-goal percentage and things of that nature,” Williams said of Hill, who is shooting 52.9 percent (9 of 17) from beyond the 3-point arc this season. “He holds himself to an incredibly high standard, and his work ethic is superb.”
With Kerry Blackshear Jr. sidelined with a lower leg injury, the Hokies are searching for help in the post, and the 6-foot-10 Sy may be the answer. Starting for the second straight game, Sy scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. He had six points and four rebounds in his debut last Friday evening.
For the second straight game, both Allen and LeDay came off the bench. Thanks to their 29 points, the Hokies outscored High Point’s bench 44-17. Tech also got a career-high nine points in 16 minutes from 7-footer Johnny Hamilton.
Tech will be looking to go 3-0 to open the season for the first time since 2012 when it takes on VMI at home on Saturday, with the tipoff time set at 7 p.m. The Hokies then hit the road for a 10-day trip to the West Coast that has them playing three games in the Wooden Legacy tournament in California and then a game in Michigan as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
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