Hokies close out non-conference play with 87-70 win over UMBC

UMBC (9-4) 274370
Virginia Tech (11-1) 404787
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 5,458
  • High Points: 22 - Chris Clarke
  • High Rebounds: 12 - Chris Clarke

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech closed out the non-conference portion of the 2016-17 schedule with an 87-70 victory over UMBC in Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Tech, now 11-1 on the season, got a career-high 22 points from Chris Clarke en route to his second consecutive double-double, third if you count his triple-double from the previous game. He finished with 12 rebounds, two steals and two assists in the victory. The Retrievers fall to 9-4 overall, as they head into their America East Conference schedule this weekend.

Though the Hokies never trailed in the contest, the game was close throughout the opening 10 minutes. Tech closed the first stanza with a three-pointer from Seth Allen with 25 seconds remaining in the half to give the Hokies their largest lead of the first half and a 40-27 lead into the intermission.

UMBC held the game in check in the opening minutes of the second half, but Tech took an 82-55 lead with 6:23 remaining on a lay-up by Clarke. UMBC was able to cut that lead to 14 points in the final two minutes, but could get no closer and the Hokies took the win, 87-70.

“I’m nervous before every game, maybe that’s the coach in me,” Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams said. “I think UMBC is incredibly well-coached, they’re always going to have four or five guys on the floor that can score. I think they put stress on you from the beginning.”

Tech placed five players in double figures, led by Clarke’s 22-point performance. Ahmed Hill added 18 points and Allen came off the bench to add 17 points. Zach LeDay scored 14 points and Justin Robinson scored 12 points, all coming from three-point range. His four three-pointers set a new career-high for the guard.

Tech out rebounded the Retrievers, 44-39, and held UMBC to just 36.2 percent shooting from the field, including 25 percent from three-point range. The Hokies’ bench outscored UMBC’s bench, 33-21.

The Hokies return to action on Saturday, as they open their ACC schedule against fifth-ranked Duke in Cassell Coliseum. The game tips at noon and will be televised live on ESPN2.

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