Virginia Tech 95, West Florida 47
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP)—So far, half a game has been enough for Virginia Tech.
The Hokies scored enough points in the first half to win for the second consecutive game Tuesday night, beating West Florida 95-47.
The Hokies (2-0) beat Coppin State 94-43 in their opener.
A.D. Vassallo, who started 10 games as a freshman last season, came off the bench to lead the Hokies with 26 points. He scored 15 against Coppin State.
“The improvements came from a lot of shooting, a lot of practicing my stroke,” he said. “I just feel more free out there and a lot more confident.”
Vassallo, who averaged 6.9 points per game last season and led the team in free throw percentage (78.1 percent), hit 8 of 14 and made five 3-pointers. He was 5-for-5 from the line.
“I think double figures should be relatively easy for me,” Vassallo said. “If we keep sharing the ball like we’re doing, everybody should get double figures.”
Coach Seth Greenberg commended his team for its generous ball-handling.
“It wasn’t very inspiring, but I thought once again we were unselfish,” Greenberg said. “We got a lot of guys in there, and I thought our perimeter guys were pretty solid.”
Deron Washington had 18 for the Hokies, Zabian Dowdell scored 17 and Jamon Gordon added 11 and nine assists.
“We still missed free throws, but everybody was playing hard, and A.D. was knocking down shots,” Gordon said.
The Hokies shot just 62 percent from the line, but improved from just 48 percent against Coppin State.
Tech led 53-26 at halftime and outscored the Argonauts 42-21 in the second half. They limited West Florida to 32.7 percent shooting overall and forced 29 turnovers while committing just 11. Virginia Tech turned the takeaways into 35 points.
“We expected Virginia Tech to be very good,” West Florida coach Don Hogan said. “I thought our kids had a little bit of a deer in the headlights to start the game, then I thought we got into it a bit.”
West Florida, which counted the game as an exhibition, was led by Lucas Evangelista with 11 points. He made 5 of 9 shots while the rest of the team was just 11-for-40.
Gordon had two steals in the first 2 minutes as the Hokies asserted themselves right from the tip. The Argonauts had 17 turnovers by halftime, leading to 20 Hokies points and the big halftime edge.
The Hokies also had a 12-0 run in the half.
“We got deflated several times out there,” Hogan said.
With the blowout in progress, the most excitement of the night came when a mini blackout caused by lights going out at Cassell Coliseum caused an eight-minute stoppage.
After opening the second half with a 17-8 run, Tech ended another 13-5 tear on consecutive dunks by Washington and Coleman Collins to take an 80-41 lead with 7:27 left.