By GENE MARRANO Associated Press
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Ahmed Hill scored 18 points and Virginia Tech beat the
Blue Hose 87-65 on Saturday night.
(8-4) won their fourth in a row;
(4-9) suffered its third straight setback.
Virginia Tech pulled away late and led by as many as 23 points.
"We all came out to play today," said Hill, "we knew it was our last test before we get into the ACC season. We worked on some things we needed to tighten up."
Jalen Hudson finished with 15 points; Adam Smith added 14 while Justin Bibbs and Joey Van Zegeren added 13 apiece.
"We definitely have a lot more work to do but we're taking steps forward," said Hudson. Head coach Buzz Williams called the 6'5" guard "the most talented guy on our roster."
As for Hill, Williams noted that, "you know that he's going to play hard."
Jordan Downing had 19 for
"They really did a tremendous job of driving the basketball," said Blue Hose head coach Gregg Nibert.
Virginia Tech's outscored the Blue Hose 34-8 in bench points, and out-shot
53.6 percent to 41.7 percent.
"We have to knock the shots down," said Nibert.
used a 16-6 run to build a 26-12 lead with 6 minutes left in the first half. After the Blue Hose closed the gap to 10 the Virginia Tech surged again to lead by as many as 18.
Virginia Tech had a 45-32 edge at the break, getting 20 points off the bench - including 10 by Hudson.
"I think they'll have a very successful ACC team - your bench play is huge," said Nibert.
Tip Ins: This is only the third season as a full-fledged Division I member for the Blue Hose.
Two ends of the spectrum:
head coach Gregg Nibert is in his 26th year at the helm; Tech's Buzz Williams is a first-year head coach in Blacksburg. The Blue Hose are now 1-13 all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference, beating only Wake Forest (2010). Tech starts its ACC schedule with a home tilt against Syracuse on January 3.
Up next: After five straight home games the
head to Morgantown for an afternoon game on December 30 vs. the West Virginia Mountaineers. "If you don't respond they literally can maul you," said Williams of the Mountaineers under head coach Bob Huggins.
goes back home to Clinton, South Carolina for its Big South Conference opener against Gardner-Webb on New Year's Eve.