Clarke, Hokies blast Maryland Eastern Shore

Maryland Eastern Shore (3-8) 221840
Virginia Tech (9-1) 543993
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 6,578
  • High Points: 18 - Chris Clarke
  • High Rebounds: 8 - N. Alexander-Walker, Kerry Blackshear Jr.

BLACKSBURG – Chris Clarke scored a season-best 18 points to pace Virginia Tech in a 93-40 non-conference victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Sunday at Carilion Clinic Court.

The win marked Tech’s seventh straight, as the Hokies moved to 9-1 overall on the season, and the victory set up Saturday’s pending showdown with No. 8 Kentucky at Rupp Arena. Virginia Tech hasn’t played the Wildcats since the 1996 NCAA Tournament – and has never played at Rupp.

“I think it’ll be a great experience,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “I anticipate a lot of good things to learn from it. I anticipate a lot of things that we haven’t seen thus far that we can learn from. I think they’re top 20 in offensive efficiency and top 20 in defensive efficiency, and I would say that they’re 1 or 2 in number of first-round picks on their roster. It’ll be good for us. Good or bad, it’ll be good for us.”

Clarke hit 7 of 9 from the floor, including all three of his 3-point attempts for the hot-shooting Hokies, who buried the Hawks with a barrage of first-half 3s. The Hokies led just 16-15 with a little more than 12 minutes remaining in the first half before embarking on a 23-1 run to take control. They hit six 3-pointers in that run, with Clarke, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Wabissa Bede hitting two each.

Clarke’s seven field goals and three 3-pointers marked his highest of the season – his three 3’s were also a career high. He tore his ACL in February, missed the final nine games of last season, and now appears to be rounding into form.

Alexander-Walker added 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, and Ahmed Hill finished with 15, as Virginia Tech shot 54.7 percent from the floor (35 of 64) and hit 15 3-pointers.

Cameron Bacote led the Hawks (3-8) with 12 points. The Hawks have lost three straight and five of their past six games.


• The nation's highest scoring team coming into this one (96.6 ppg), the Hokies scored more than 90 points for the seventh time this season

• Tech’s 15 3-pointers marked their second-most in a game this season. The Hokies hit 16 in the win over Houston Baptist.

• Tech has now hit at least 10 3-pointers in five games this season.

• The Hokies have hit at least six 3-pointers in 20 consecutive games dating back to last season.

• The Hokies’ 54-22 halftime lead marked their largest halftime lead of the season.

• Led by Clarke, Tech’s bench scored a season-best 37 points. The Hokies have gotten at least 19 points from their bench in every game this season. Tech's bench is averaging 27.8 points per game.

• The Hokies’ 40 points allowed, 27.8 opponent’s shooting percentage and 15 baskets allowed all were the fewest by a Virginia Tech opponent this season.

• Tech’s six turnovers were the fewest in a game this season.


Adrian “Ace” Custis returned to his old stomping grounds Sunday for the third time, as the current UMES assistant coach played basketball at Virginia Tech in the mid-1990s. Custis, now in his fourth season at UMES, is one of just three players in Virginia Tech history to record more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Virginia Tech retired Custis’ No. 20 jersey at the end of his senior season in 1997, making him just one of four Tech players to have his jersey number retired.


The Hokies now gear up for their biggest challenge of the season, as they travel to Kentucky for a Saturday afternoon game against the Wildcats. The game tips off at 2 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.

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