Hill carries Virginia Tech to a 99-73 win over High Point
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) BLACKSBURG, Va. - When asked to give an assessment of his hot shooting Tuesday night, Ahmed Hill described a feeling that every basketball player desires.
''I didn't really have to aim,'' Hill said.
Hill scored a career-high 20 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 99-73 victory over High Point.
Hill missed last season with a knee injury, but in the second game of his return, he hit 7 of 12 from the floor and connected on a career-high six 3-pointers for the Hokies (2-0), who never trailed and hit 12 3-pointers. Seth Allen added 17 points.
Andre Fox paced High Point (1-1) with a career-high 23 points.
Virginia Tech blitzed the Panthers right from the opening tip. The Hokies made 14 of their first 15 shots, including six 3-pointers in racing to a 24-point lead less than nine minutes into the game. Hill hit half of his 3-pointers in that stretch.
''I don't know that I could have necessarily predicted his field-goal percentage and things of that nature,'' Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said of Hill, who is shooting 52.9 percent (9 of 17) from beyond the 3-point arc this season. ''He holds himself to an incredibly high standard, and his work ethic is superb.''
High Point had no answer for the Hokies on the perimeter, as Hill and Allen combined for 25 of the Hokies' 60 first-half points. Virginia Tech shot 71.9 percent (23 of 32) in the first half and hit eight 3's. The Hokies shot 56.1 percent for the game (37 of 66).
''We had a game plan, but we didn't execute it very well,'' High Point coach Scott Cherry said. ''We had to help too much and gave them good looks. They had wide-open ones. Give them a lot of credit. They made them.''
High Point: The Panthers will need better games from Anthony Lindauer - one of just three seniors on the roster. He scored just four points after scoring 16 in the season opener for a High Point team that features seven newcomers.
Virginia Tech: With Kerry Blackshear Jr. sidelined with a lower leg injury, the Hokies are searching for help in the post, and freshman Khadim Sy may be the answer. Sy scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds.
MORE ON HILL'S BIG NIGHT
Hill was a 3-pointer away from tying the single-game school record held by teammate Justin Bibbs. He also set career highs in field goals made and 3-pointers attempted.
''I was comfortable coming into the season, but I'm still shocked that I'm playing this way,'' he said.
MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
The Hokies are preparing for a 10-day trip to the West Coast that has them playing three games in the Wooden Legacy tournament in California and then a game in Michigan as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. After a somewhat lackluster performance in the opener, Virginia Tech took a step forward, according to Williams, whose team leaves Monday.
''I didn't think we were bad in game 1, but I thought we were trying to justify too much of our inadequacies and playing it on, `Well, it was game 1,'' he said. ''We need to hurry up . and take the next step. I thought, for sure, we did that.''
High Point returns home to play in the High Point University Classic. The Panthers play three games in three days, starting with UNC Greensboro on Friday.
Virginia Tech will be looking to go 3-0 to open the season for the first time since 2012 when it takes on VMI at home on Saturday.