Virginia Tech cruises past NC A&T 90-60
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Virginia Tech's four-game, season-opening homestand is over. Now, the Hokies get ready to hit the road and take on one of the best teams in the nation.
Zach LeDay scored 26 points to lift Virginia Tech to a 90-60 victory over North Carolina A&T on Tuesday.
The Hokies (3-1) won their third straight game and travel to Destin, Florida, for a Friday-night game against Iowa State, ranked No. 4 nationally in this week's Associated Press poll.
''I think all coaches would say that they'd like more time (to prepare),'' Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. ''I think when you're playing a team that's potentially good enough to beat Kansas in the Big 12 regular season and a team with the talent that they have, you always want more time. But you can't change it. We'll see where we stack up.''
The Hokies tuned up by taking on the Aggies. LeDay hit 8 of 14 from the floor and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line in tying his career high. He also grabbed 12 rebounds to record his third double-double this season.
Chris Clarke had 14 points for the Hokies, who lost their season opener to Alabama State. Justin Bibbs and Kerry Blackshear Jr. each scored 12.
Virginia Tech trailed the first seven minutes, but grabbed a 9-7 lead on a field goal by Clarke with 12:56 left in the half. North Carolina A&T's Mike Owona gave the Aggies a 10-9 lead with a 3-point play, but Clarke connected again, scoring with 11:58 to go to give Virginia Teach a lead it never would relinquish.
Clarke's basket started a 16-2 run in which Clarke and LeDay combined for 12 points and the Hokies gradually opened a 20-point lead and led 46-32 at halftime.
''We try to come out very hard every game,'' LeDay said. ''We try to get better every game. We came out hard and executed, and it led to a big `W.'
''It's a race to maturity right now for us. We're trying to make strides and mature as fast as possible. Chris is a freshman, and J-Rob (Justin Robinson) is a freshman. We've got a bunch of sophomores. We've got all these new people coming together. We're trying to mature as a team and get better every day.''
The game featured a combined 51 fouls, with North Carolina A&T committing 34. Virginia Tech shot 34 of 50 from the free-throw line, while the Aggies made 6 of 10. The Aggies also hurt themselves with a season-high 20 turnovers.
''It's 50 to 10,'' North Carolina A&T coach Cy Alexander said of the free-throw disparity. ''I'm not a person that complains about officiating, but it's hard not to complain tonight. I thought Virginia Tech played well, but I thought our guys felt like they were being hampered because . it's 50-10.
''In the second half, we had seven team fouls before the first media timeout. We played so-so, and Virginia Tech played a pretty good game. But still, the disparity at the free-throw line . it's hard not to complain about that.''
In the second half, Virginia Tech led by as many as 32 points, with LeDay scoring 15 points in the half.
Bruce Beckford led the Aggies (0-6) with 14 points.
Virginia Tech: LeDay became the first player to record consecutive double-doubles since Jarell Eddie in 2013 . Clarke has scored in double figures in all four games this season . Virginia Tech moved to 5-0 all-time in the series and to 27-0 all-time against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference . The game marked the end of the Hokies' four-game, season-opening home stand . Devin Wilson saw his first action of the season. He missed the first three games with a hip muscle injury . Blackshear scored in double figures for the first time in his career. Walk-ons Matt Galloway and Greg Donlon saw action for the first time this season. Donlon scored a career-high four points.
North Carolina A&T: The Aggies put the Hokies in the bonus within the first six minutes of the game and the double bonus within the first nine minutes . Twelve of the 15 players who played in the game scored . Ahmad Abdullah started for the third straight game . Beckford has led or shared for the team lead in scoring in all six games.
North Carolina A&T travels to Fargo, North Dakota to play a Saturday game against North Dakota State.
Virginia Tech plays Iowa State on Friday night in Destin, Florida as part of the Emerald Coast Classic.