Virginia Tech races past Citadel in second half
A tale of two halves doesn’t begin to describe this one.
Up by four points on Virginia Tech at halftime, The Citadel’s basketball team looked like it might be on its way to a first signature win under coach Duggar Baucom, and its first win over an ACC team since 1979.
And then the second half happened.
The Hokies scored 73 points after the break and cruised to a 113-71 victory over The Citadel at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.
Chris Clarke put up a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and Ahmed Hill scored 22 points as the Hokies improved to 9-1.
Freshman Preston Parks scored 20 points for the 7-5 Bulldogs, who are at Maryland-Baltimore County on Monday.
The Citadel led by 44-40 at halftime, making 8 of 18 from 3-point range and leading by as many as eight in the first 20 minutes.
“We not only made shots, we got the shots we wanted,” said Baucom. “We were poised, we forced 11 turnovers with nine steals. That’s how we’re supposed to play.”
That changed quickly in the second half, as the Hokies went on a 22-4 run after halftime. The Bulldogs were just 2 of 19 on 3-pointers in the second half.
“We told them the first four minutes of the second half were the most important,” Baucom said. “And we were only down eight at the media timeout. But they just got up into us in the second half.
“The first half we were good, but you can’t play for just 20 minutes. They didn’t suit up any other guys in the second half. I’m just disappointed we got punked down in the second half.”
The Citadel’s top scorer, 6-7 sophomore Zane Najdawi, could get nothing going against the Hokies’ big men, fouling out with two points on 1 of 7 shooting. Sophomore guard Quayson Williams, averaging 14.1 points, took only five shots and scored three points.
“They knew who our horses were and took them out,” Baucom said. “When you are trying to play an ACC team, you better be firing on all cylinders.”
The Bulldogs will try to salvage a win on the road trip Monday at Maryland-Baltimore County, which was 7-2 before Saturday night’s game against Towson. UMBC is coached by Ryan Odum, son of former South Carolina coach Dave Odum.
“They are good,” Baucom said. “They’ve been down for at least eight years, and then Ryan comes in and they are 7-2 with pretty much the same players. He’s given them some freedom, they share the ball and we’ll have our hands full.”