After a disappointing midweek loss at Penn State, the 13th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies returned to Cassell Coliseum against Central Connecticut State and returned to their high-flying offensive ways.
Virginia Tech beat Central Connecticut State 94-40 to improve to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 at home. The Hokies have a pair of home games next week against VMI and South Carolina State as they prepare for their Atlantic City showdown with Washington in two weeks.
After a slow opening few minutes, Virginia Tech found their rhythm and took off on their way to outscoring Central Connecticut State 49-23 in the first 20 minutes. The Hokies were on fire offensively shooting 65.5% from the field while going 9-15 from three-point range with 16 assists as a team, a big step in the right direction after the PSU loss. Defensively, the Hokies were able to force 10 turnovers while holding CCSU to 5. The only issue came on the offensive glass as CCSU won the offensive rebounding battle 5-3.
Virginia Tech kept it going in the second half with a 28-9 run to start the second 20 minutes of action. The Hokies continued to shoot at an extremely impressive rate while their defense limited the Blue Devils even more. From there, the Hokies continued to pull away on their to holding their second-straight home opponent to 40 points or less.
The Hokies’ prolific shooting was once again on display as they shot 57.1% from the field and 54.5% from three-point range. The Hokies also won both in offensive rebounds and turnovers with 10 offensive rebounds compared to 7 for CCSU while only have 9 turnovers compared to 17 for the Blue Devils. VT also took advantage of CCSSU’s mistakes with a 20-3 advantage in points off turnovers.
Player of the Game: Justin Robinson
There were plenty of worthy choices, but Justin Robinson earned these honors despite only having 4 points. The Hokies’ senior point guard nearly had a double-double despite his low personal scoring output with a school record 13 assists and 7 rebounds. Though his 4 turnovers were a little high, Robinson was able to find ways to consistently get his teammates involved and could have easily had several more assists in this game.
After getting shut out against Penn State, Ahmed Hill bounced back in a big way leading the Hokies with 24 points on 9-13 shooting from the field including an impressive 6-9 from three-point range. Hill also led the Hokies with 3 steals while also having 2 assists and 1 rebound.
Kerry Blackshear had a very good game with 18 points including 12 points within the first several minutes of the game. Blackshear also had 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 block, and only 2 fouls in 29 minutes, another great step in the right direction for the redshirt junior big man given his struggles with foul trouble.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker had a productive game with 14 points on 5-8 shooting plus 4 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal. Ty Outlaw continued to find his rhythm from three-point range with 13 points on 4-6 shooting from the field including 3-5 from three-point range while adding in 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 1 steal.
Wabissa Bede ended a three-game scoreless streak with 8 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. Isaiah Wilkins started and had a solid game with 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal while PJ Horne had 5 rebounds and 1 assist. Jon Kabongo had 3 points while Brendan Palmer made a cameo appearance at the end of the game.
For the Hokies, they bounced back extremely well with a dominant performance against a Central Connecticut State that was outmatched for the whole game. While the opponent may not have provided much of a test, it did provide a great opportunity for the Hokies to mix and match some lineups along with getting some of their backups some valuable experience after their recent struggles.