The Virginia Tech Hokies entered the game on Wednesday night with a 7-1 record looking to take care of business against their New River Valley neighbor Radford. Unsurprisingly, the Hokies took care of business in a game that was never really close.
Led by Justin Bibbs and Kerry Blackshear, the Hokies trounced the Highlanders 95-68. The Hokies led 47-30 at halftime and scored 48 more points in the second half to advance to 8-1.
Bibbs was absolutely spectacular tonight, shooting 8 of 10 from the floor and 4 of 5 from three-point range to score 20 points. Blackshear also had a fantastic game, shooting 4-6 from the floor including a three-pointer, while going a perfect 11 for 11 from the free throw line. Bibbs and Blackshear led the team in scoring, but a few other players still contributed.
Justin Robinson is the complete floor general. Yes, he turns the ball over occasionally (he had four turnovers tonight), but he is averaging six assists per game and gets his teammates great looks to score consistently. Robinson had 11 points and 9 assists, even throwing an alley-oop to Ahmed Hill that made Cassell Coliseum erupt. His nine assists were his most this season and only second all-time in his own personal stat book behind his 11 assists last season at Boston College. Without Robinson, this team would be completely different.
Ahmed Hill started and played 31 of the 40 minutes but only scored nine points. Hill just did not have a great shooting night, but his teammates did and they took more of the workload for this game than usual.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the outstanding true freshman out of Toronto, also had nine points in tonight’s contest. However, Alexander-Walker shot just 1-3 from the field, but was 7-9 from the free-throw line. If the Hokies are going to want to upset Kentucky in a week in a half, they are going to need NAW to have a good game.
Tyrie Jackson and Wabissa Bede each scored six points off the bench and gave Buzz Williams other options at the point guard spot. Both players attacked the rim when they entered the game, but more so Jackson, who leaped over a defender to finger-roll the basket in. Devin Wilson had 5 points in 12 minutes of play and he played well, helping control the ball and giving the team a sense of leadership at times when they needed it most.
PJ Horne and Chris Clarke had 4 and 5 points each, respectively, with each grabbing a pair of rebounds and playing some great defense. Clarke had a bigger impact than Horne, helping out inside and giving the Hokies a little more size at times. Horne did not play many minutes but he made an impact when he came in.
Last but not least, walk-on Justin Ammerman and former walk-on Nick Fullard played at the end of tonight’s game with Ammerman getting to the line but missing a pair of free throws.
Overall, it was a fairly good game for the Hokies, who are averaging 95 points per game. Against a Radford team that is well coached and well-tested, the Hokies played very well, did not make a ton of mistakes, and held Radford to under 70 points which is a pretty good defensive game. Virginia Tech will host Maryland-Eastern Shore on Sunday before they enjoy a week-long break as the team prepares for Kentucky on Saturday, December 16.