AP NEWS

Hill’s 22 carries Virginia Tech past The Citadel 113-71

December 17, 2016

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Duggar Baucom, the head coach of The Citadel, has coached against Virginia Tech several times going back to his days at VMI, and he knew what his team was getting into on its recent visit to play the Hokies and head coach Buzz Williams

“I sat here two years ago (in 2014) when I was at VMI and we played Buzz in his first year,” Baucom said. “I said, ‘The ACC better get him this year before he gets his guys in here.’

“I think I have become a prophet.”

Ahmed Hill scored a career-high 22 points to lead streaking Virginia Tech to a 113-71 victory over The Citadel on Saturday.

Hill, who has scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games, made 8 of 12 from the floor in guiding Virginia Tech (9-1) to its fifth straight victory and its 11th straight home win since last season.

The Hokies, who are receiving votes in the Associated Press Top-25 poll, trailed 44-40 at halftime, thanks primarily to 11 first-half turnovers, but opened the second half with a 26-6 run and pulled away.

“I don’t know we made any adjustments on either end,” Williams said. “I just think our mentality was much different (in the second). All the things that we did in the second half were things that we had worked and prepared to do in the first half. (But) very little of it was executed.”

Hill scored 12 points in the run, hitting three 3-pointers and converting a 3-point play, and the Hokies scored on 11 of their first 13 possessions.

“My teammates found me,” Hill said. “I was open, and I just tried to do my job - which is to hit shots. I just kept shooting.”

Hill has hit a 3-pointer in every game this season and is shooting a team-best 46.8 percent from beyond the arc (29 of 62).

Zach LeDay added 16 points for the Hokies, who outrebounded the Bulldogs 41-28 and whose 30 assists were one shy of the school’s single-game record.

Preston Parks paced The Citadel (7-5) with 20 points.

BIG PICTURE

The Citadel: The Bulldogs, who have played a soft non-conference schedule, will need more production from Zane Najdawi against the better teams in the Southern Conference. He was averaging 20.1 points per game, but scored just two against Virginia Tech before fouling out with 9:58 left in the game.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies lack depth, with Kerry Blackshear, Jr. out indefinitely with a foot injury and Johnny Hamilton out for the year with an injured thumb. Yet the Hokies’ eight primary players are productive. For the seventh time in 10 games, at least four reached double figures in scoring. That should bode well for them once Atlantic Coast Conference action starts.

CLARKE’S TRIPLE-DOUBLE

Khadim Sy’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Chris Clarke the final assist he needed to record what Virginia Tech communications staffers believe to be the first triple-double in school history. Clarke had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

“It’s definitely cool,” Clarke said of the feat.

“He’s a matchup horror movie,” Williams said. “I didn’t realize it was a triple-double until right there at the very end, but that’s cool.”

UP NEXT

The Citadel: The Bulldogs have little time to ponder what transpired Saturday, as they travel to Baltimore to take on UMBC on Monday night.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies get ready for the penultimate game of their non-conference slate when they play at home game against Charleston Southern on Tuesday. They haven’t lost to the Buccaneers in five previous meetings.