The Virginia Tech Hokies defeated the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks 93-40 today in Blacksburg, Virginia. Buzz Williams’ squad improved to 9-1 on the season, the second year in a row they have started 9-1, and now looks ahead to a showdown with Kentucky on Saturday.
Chris Clarke led the Hokies to victory over the Hawks with 18 points in 17 minutes of play. Coming into the game, Clarke was averaging 8.6 points and 6 rebounds in 21 minutes of play per game and 4 of 10 from three-point range on the season.
Clarke was 3-3 from downtown in today’s game and gave the team a spark coming off the bench. Clarke shot 7-9 overall and had four rebounds in a solid performance in only 17 minutes.
The Hokies were not up by much going into the first media timeout in the first half, but Buzz Williams sparked a fire in his players and the team was unstoppable from that point forward.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, one of the most talented freshman in the nation, had 16 points tonight, his best scoring performance since he put up 18 against Morehead State. Although this performance was against a team that isn’t very good, this could possibly be Alexander-Walker’s stepping stone and a positive performance to build momentum off of.
His stats say he is fairly consistent, averaging 14.7 points per game in 26 minutes, but while he has had games where he has scored 29, 24, and 20 points, he has also had games where he has scored 4, 5, and 6 points. I have a feeling after watching Alexander-Walker’s performance in which he shot 4-4 from behind the arc and made 86% of his shots, he will use this game as a platform going into a huge showdown at Kentucky.
Two other players, Ahmed Hill and Justin Bibbs, scored in double figures. Hill shot 6-11 and scored 15 points while grabbing three rebounds. Compared to other games, he didn’t play much, playing 22 minutes. Hill is averaging 16 points a game in 28.5 minutes so scoring 15 points in 22 minutes is a pretty good stat line.
Bibbs also had a pretty big impact on tonight’s game, scoring 10 points in 26 minutes of play. He is averaging 17.5 points per game in an average of 31.5 minutes per game, which stats indicate that tonight was not one of his best games. However, he shot 67%, which is very good, and had five rebounds, the most he has had in a game this season. Based on that, it seems like he played pretty well. Both of these guys will be key in the game this upcoming weekend.
Floor general Justin Robinson had six points and five assists in 24 minutes of play, but he did not disappoint. Robinson wowed the crowd with baskets he scored weaving through the entire defense and making them look silly, and he gave his teammates great looks on the offensive end. He may be the most important player for the Hokies this season, simply because the Hokies don't have a floor general nearly as good as him.
Kerry Blackshear had a solid, but quiet game for the Hokies, putting up nine points and grabbing eight rebounds in 24 minutes. He also didn’t get into foul trouble, which is probably the most important thing to take away from his play today. Committing only one foul is pretty good, but he will be heavily challenged this weekend against a big Kentucky team.
Wabissa Bede and P.J. Horne both played well, each scoring nine points in 16 minutes. Both were great impacts when they came on the floor, giving the starters a break and keeping up the intensity. Devin Wilson and Tyrie Jackson both provided hustle and energy, even though Wilson did not score and Jackson only scored a free throw. They both had positive impacts on the floor.
As for Justin Ammerman and Nick Fullard, they both got to play for the last minute of the game with the crowd erupting in cheers as they usually do.
As a whole, the Hokies' bench will play an important role in Saturday's showdown at Kentucky.
Overall, it was a good game for Virginia Tech. A win by 53 points is pretty solid.
Now, a huge game awaits in Rupp Arena Saturday against Kentucky. That could be an extremely entertaining game with VT having the veteran guards to give Kentucky fits. If Kerry Blackshear can stay out of foul trouble, Virginia Tech will have a chance at a huge upset.
Stay up with The Tech Lunch Pail for the latest on Virginia Tech. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Subscribe to our email updates.