December 09, 2015

RADFORD, Va. (AP) After going winless on the road last season, Virginia Tech desperately wanted to get rid of that dubious distinction this season.

They accomplished that in their first attempt - and only traveled 14 miles to do it.

Seth Allen scored 17 points to lead the Hokies to a 74-65 victory over neighboring Radford on Wednesday.

The road win marked the first for the Hokies' second-year head coach Buzz Williams, whose teams had lost 11 straight road games to start his tenure.

''It's the next rung on the ladder,'' Williams said. ''You can't be respectable if you can't win games on the road. The best teams win games on the road. Even good teams win some games on the road. Obviously, it's our first one since we've been here, and we're thankful for it. Hopefully, it is a launching point going forward.''

The Hokies (6-3) led by as many as 20 points in the second half, but Radford went on a 17-5 run in the final five minutes and cut the lead to 62-56 on a basket by Cameron Jones with 2:47 to go.

Virginia Tech's Kerry Blackshear Jr. answered with a layup, and Justin Bibbs added a free throw with 1:50 to go give the Hokies a nine-point edge. Allen's three-point play with 1:13 left made it 68-57 and helped the Hokies stave off the Radford comeback.

Virginia Tech made 11 of its first 14 shots from the field, taking a 28-8 lead on Allen's basket with 10:28 left in the first half. Allen was one of seven players to score in that stretch and finished the first half with 11 points.

''You have to have segments of a road game like that to have a chance to win,'' Williams said. ''You don't necessarily know when it's coming, but you do gain confidence when it happens at the beginning. Those types of things are required to win on the road.''

The Hokies cooled off toward the end of the first half, but still shot 51.5 percent (17 of 33) and hit 3 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc in taking a 41-27 halftime lead. Radford shot just 34.5 percent (10 of 29) in the first 20 minutes and turned the ball over nine times.

''I don't think they missed a shot in the first three or four minutes of the game,'' Radford coach Mike Jones said. ''They were ready to play in this atmosphere. I thought they came out and really punched us in the mouth right from the beginning of the game. By the time we figured it out and started to play a little bit, it was desperation time in the second half.''

Virginia Tech opened the second half by scoring on five of its first seven possessions, while the Highlanders hit just one of their first six attempts. Blackshear's basket with 15:15 left gave the Hokies a 51-31 lead.

The lead was too much for Radford to overcome. The Highlanders shot just 41.7 percent (25 of 60) overall and made just 3-of-20 3-pointers.

''Everyone had that chip on their shoulder,'' Allen said. ''We said we weren't leaving this building unless we had a win.

''It feels great. We work real hard - and that's not an exaggeration. We work so hard, and it takes your whole soul to win, even if it's 20 minutes down the road at Radford or if it's three and a half hours in Durham. It takes everything you've got - no matter where you're at.''

Blackshear scored 13 and grabbed eight rebounds for the Hokies, who shot 50 percent (28 of 56). Jalen Hudson added 12 points, and Bibbs had 11.

Jones led Radford (5-5) with 16 points. Brandon Holcomb finished with 13.

Rashun Davis, Radford's leading scorer who came in averaging 14.8 points, scored just four points.

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TIP-INS

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are now 8-1 all-time against Radford. . Virginia Tech moved to 38-6 all-time against teams from the Big South Conference. . Devin Wilson made his first start of the season. He missed the first three games with an adductor (hip muscle) injury. . Allen scored in double figures for the fifth straight game - coming off the bench in all five.

Radford: The game marked the first visit by an ACC opponent in the history of Radford's Dedmon Center. . The game marked the first sellout in the arena since 2009 (Big South Tournament championship game). . YaYa Anderson became the 29th Radford player to surpass the 1,000-point milestone. . He became the fourth Highlander in the past three seasons to reach it.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech takes on Lamar on Sunday at home.

Radford plays at Howard on Saturday.

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