Virginia Tech pulls away from Liberty to win 73-63

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Joey van Zegeren scored 17 points, and Virginia Tech used efficient offense in the second half to pull away to a 73-63 victory over Liberty on Wednesday night.

Van Zegeren was one of four players in double figures for the Hokies (2-0), who won despite committing 19 turnovers and making 16-of-28 from the free-throw line. Adam Smith and Devin Wilson scored 13 points each, while Justin Bibbs finished with 10 points.

A 3-pointer by Bibbs with 38 seconds left in the first half enabled the Hokies to take a 31-28 lead at halftime. Virginia Tech hit four of its first six shots to start the second half, taking a 40-32 lead on a 3-pointer by Smith with 17:25 remaining.

Midway through the second half, Virginia Tech scored on eight of nine possessions and took a 59-45 lead on two free throws by Wilson with 9:10 left - the Hokies' biggest lead of the game.

The Flames (2-1) cut the lead to 65-59 on a jumper by James Johnson with 4:04 left. But coming out of a timeout, Virginia Tech got a short jumper from Smith with 3:33 to go, and Liberty didn't come closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Liberty hurt itself with 21 turnovers. The Flames were led by Tomasz Gielo, who scored 13.

TIP-INS

Virginia Tech: Hokies coach Buzz Williams served as an assistant on the staff of Liberty coach Dale Layer at Colorado State for four years (2000-04). The Hokies are 46-5 versus Big South schools. Virginia Tech leads the series 14-3.

Liberty: Layer served as an assistant on Williams' staff at Marquette during the 2008-09 season. Liberty is now 5-33 all-time against ACC schools.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech is at home against Appalachian State on Saturday.

Liberty travels to Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.

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