After dominating Detroit Mercy in their opener 111-79, Virginia Tech had a great chance at scoring over 100 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1988 with The Citadel coming to Blacksburg.
1988. Jan 14 at Cincinnati (W, 1022-97.
Jan 16 at Southern Miss (L, 102-127)
Last time in 2 wins:
1983. Dec 17 vs. VMI (W, 122-61)
Dec 20 vs. South Carolina (W, 104-76) https://t.co/UMU02wToRO
— Damian Salas (@vthokie) November 13, 2017
That’s exactly what the Hokies did tonight on their way to a blowout victory.
Virginia Tech beat The Citadel 132-93 to go to 2-0 on the season ahead of their trip to Madison Square Garden for the 2K Classic. Virginia Tech’s 132 points were a school record for the most points scored in regulation in program history.
Offensively, this was about as good of a performance as the Hokies have had in a long time. VT shot an impressive 68.6% from the field including 54.5% from beyond the arc. The Hokies also moved the ball very effectively with a school record 36 assists. Virginia Tech did have 19 turnovers, but that’s not as bad given the number of possessions in this game. Overall, the Hokies’ offense was extremely good with one of the best shooting nights in the program’s history.
Virginia Tech dominated the boards with 51 rebounds tonight compared to 24 for The Citadel while also having 5 blocks. The Hokies forced 16 turnovers and held The Citadel to only 42.3% shooting in this game. While it’s never ideal to give up 93 points, The Citadel’s shooting numbers show that the Hokies had a solid defensive night overall.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker had another big game leading the Hokies with 29 points along with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block. The five-star freshman from Toronto has been extremely impressive in the Hokies’ first two games and the South Carolina exhibition, leading the Hokies in scoring all three times.
Alexander-Walker can do it all from making incredible passes to taking advantage of catch-and-shoot opportunities, and even creating his own shot. NAW is the most talented freshman Virginia Tech has had in a long time and with him playing at such a high level, the Hokies look the part of a top 25 team.
Kerry Blackshear was also extremely impressive tonight with 22 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 blocks. Surgery to improve his foot’s mobility forced him to redshirt last season, but is paying off so far this season. Through the first two games, Blackshear has taken his game to a level that many could not imagine he had the potential to play at so soon after his foot surgery.
Chris Clarke is back to his role as the do-it-all forward with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in only 20 minutes tonight. Clarke may be one of the ACC’s most versatile players and is a difference maker that the Hokies are glad to have back at full strength.
Justin Robinson had a great game with 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting (5-of-6 from beyond the arc), 7 assists, and 3 rebounds. Ahmed Hill was productive with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting plus 3 rebounds while Devin Wilson had 9 points and 7 assists to round out the starters.
Tyrie Jackson continues to bring lots of energy and hustle to the floor and it showed in the stat line with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Wabissa Bede had a good game as well with 5 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks including an impressive block from behind in transition. PJ Horne was an effective backup big man with 4 points and 5 rebounds in only 8 minutes of action.
Virginia Tech was dominant for the second-straight night and heads to Madison Square Garden with lots of momentum. The Hokies are the clear favorites to win the 2K Classic and have a great chance at not only picking up a pair of quality wins, but making a statement to show why they should be a top 25 basketball team.
The Hokies have taken care of business against weaker competition, but now have to show that their dominance isn’t just because of the level of competition.