LeDay's big night lifts Tech past Maryland Eastern Shore

Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-8) 164359
Virginia Tech (7-1) 383775
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 7,068
  • High Points: 23 - Zach LeDay
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Chris Clarke

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech forward Zach LeDay scored 23 points to carry the Hokies to a 75-59 non-conference victory over Maryland Eastern Shore at Virginia Tech Carilion Court on Wednesday night.

Coming off the bench as he has all season, LeDay hit 7 of 10 shots from the floor and all nine of his free throws for the Hokies (7-1), who are off to their best start since opening the 2012-13 season with a 7-0 mark. Maryland Eastern Shore fell to 1-8 on the season.

The Hokies led UMES by as many as 27 points, but the Hawks scored on 10 of 13 possessions during one stretch in the second half and cut the lead to 54-45 on Ryan Andino's 3-pointer with 7:57 remaining.

A timeout by head coach Buzz Williams resulted in the Hokies getting the ball to LeDay, and LeDay had the answers. He connected on back-to-back 3-point plays to push the lead back into double figures, and the Hokies weren't threatened again.

“When things are haywire, they’re [LeDay’s teammates] going to throw the ball to Zach, and Zach wants them to throw the ball to him,” Williams said. “He’s going to score. He’s going to get fouled, but he also does a good job of finding the next guy. We did go too long of a stretch without him even getting a touch. We want Zach to get a touch. He’s very efficient.”

Behind LeDay, the Hokies scored on six straight possessions, pushing the lead to 16 – the final margin. LeDay scored at least 20 points for the third time this season.

Justin Robinson had 12 points, and Seth Allen added 11 points and tied a career high with eight assists. Tech had 19 assists on 26 field goals, and for the season, the Hokies have 44 more assists than turnovers.

Andino, who hit seven 3-pointers, scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half to lead the Hawks. UMES made 17 of 27 shots in the final 30 minutes.

“I think they understand how we want to play,” Williams said. “I think they play for one another. When we are paint-touch priority, I think we’re good. When we get consecutive stops defensively, we’re better because we’re fast physically and fast when the ball is moving down hill.

“My concern is not offense. We’ve just to got to figure out how to improve defensively.”

Tech returns to action Sunday for an important home game against Ole Miss. The tipoff is at noon.

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