Virginia Tech Beats Houston Baptist 99-73

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Nov 22, 2017
Virginia Tech came home after a blowout win over Washington looking to build on that momentum ahead of next week's matchup with Iowa. They faced a Houston Baptist team looking to end a two-game losing streak after a pair of close losses to Belmont and Detroit Mercy. Houston Baptist was able to stay up with the Hokies for a little more than a half, but VT eventually pulled away. Virginia Tech beat Houston Baptist 99-73 to go to 4-1 on the season with Houston Baptist dropping to 1-4. The Hokies have one more home game against Morehead State before an important two-game stretch with games against Iowa and at Ole Miss where VT will have a chance to pick up two quality wins. Virginia Tech had a great offensive performance from start to finish shooting 64% from the field including 61.5% from beyond the arc, making 16 threes which was one short of the school record. However, the Hokies got off to a slow start defensively with Houston Baptist shooting 50% in the first half. However, VT's defense toughened up in the second half, especially in the post, and held the Huskies to 39.4% shooting in the second half. Virginia Tech continues to pass the ball well on offense with 21 assists, but they did have a fairly high number of turnovers with 15. If there is a concern, it may be on the glass as though the Hokies outrebounded Houston Baptist 32-27, VT was outrebounded on the offensive glass 12-4. Justin Bibbs had another impressive game leading the Hokies with 25 points and 3 rebounds on 11-for-13 shooting including 3-for-5 shooting from three-point range. Bibbs made his first nine shots and continues to be extremely impressive since returning from missing the first two regular season games. Many wondered how VT would fill the offensive void left by Seth Allen and Zach LeDay, and so far, Bibbs has proven to be a big part of the answer. Ahmed Hill also had another quality performance with 19 points and 7 rebounds on 5-for-10 shooting including 5-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Hill has been consistent through the first five games, but the question will be can he keep this high level of scoring up in ACC play unlike he was able to last year. Justin Robinson had a very good game at the point with 15 points, 7 assists, and 2 steals while only having 2 turnovers. Wabissa Bede had the most points in his young career with 13 points on 3-for-4 shooting and 6-for-6 shooting from the free-throw line. Nickeil Alexander-Walker didn't have a great shooting night with 6 points on 2-for-6 shooting while Tyrie Jackson had 5 points and 2 rebounds. Kerry Blackshear had a solid game with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block while PJ Horne had 7 points and 2 blocks, but both plays had some struggles defending Houston Baptist's Josh Ibarra in the post. Chris Clarke didn't score but made a big impact with 6 rebounds and 4 assists while Devin Wilson had 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Virginia Tech may have struggled in the first half, but they got the job done thanks to a dominant second half performance. However, the Hokies will need to find some more defensive consistency, but Buzz Williams and VT have a solid defensive second half to use to build on. The more positive news is that Virginia Tech's impressive shooting doesn't appear to be slowing down just yet.

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