For a while, Virginia Tech literally couldn’t miss.
On their third possession of the game, the Hokies did miss, on a three-point attempt by junior guard Justin Bibbs. But from that point, all they did was connect on their next 12 shots, five of those three-pointers.
Virginia Tech eventually cooled off somewhat, but that early spark was plenty enough on Tuesday night. The Hokies led by as many as 33 points and cruised to a 99-73 victory over visiting High Point.
Virginia Tech shot 56.1 percent for the game, over 70 percent in the first half and connected on 12 three-pointers. Sophomore guard Ahmed Hill led the Hokies with 20 points, including six threes. Junior guard Seth Allen added 17 points.
Even when the Panthers looked like they had a stop, Virginia Tech managed to score. Such was the case with 7:37 left in the first half. After a High Point miss, senior guard Seth Allen threw an outlet pass to an open Hill. The sophomore guard went in against two defenders, three up an awkward shot and was fouled as the ball swished through the net. That put the Hokies up 46-18.
Virginia Tech kept up its torrid pace until the final few minutes of the half. The Hokies slowed down the pace on a couple of possessions, but still managed to take a commanding 60-34 lead into halftime. That’s just eight points shy of the school record 68 set in 1982.
For the half, Virginia Tech shot a blistering 71.9 percent from the floor. That included 8-of-14 shooting from three-point range. Hill hit all four of his three-pointers, good for 14 points in the half.
There Hokies did cool off to start the second half, as they hit just three of their first 10 shots from the field. That allowed the Panthers to get to within 66-46 with 15:01 to go.
But Hill served as a reminder that Virginia Tech might have slowed its pace a bit, but didn’t completely slow. He canned three-pointers on back to back possessions midway through the half. The latter, with 8:52 left, had the Hokies up 84-59.
From there, Virginia Tech poured the points back on, en route to an easy win.
The Hokies are back in Cassell Coliseum for a 7 p.m. tip-off against VMI Saturday.