LeDay's double-double helps Virginia Tech beat VMI 88-72
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Zach LeDay scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Seth Allen added 15 points and Virginia Tech beat the Virginia Military Institute 88-72 on Saturday night.
''We were much more purposeful with our dribbles and passes in the second half in the pace we want to play,'' said Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams.
Virginia Tech (3-0) took the lead for good with 6:44 left in the first half on Khadim Sy's layup. The Hokies led 44-34 at the break on the strength of 57 percent shooting and a 19-12 rebounding edge.
''I think we played real good pushing the ball,'' said LeDay, ''but we have to be better on the defensive end. We want to be playing in March.''
Tech led by 20 points on several occasions in the second half but VMI kept chipping away.
QJ Peterson scored 29 points (23 in the second half) with three 3-pointers and eight rebounds for the Keydets (1-1).
''He's a really good player and what's nice is that he's our hardest worker as well,'' said VMI head coach Dan Earl. ''His decision making . was really good.''
''We're recognizing when someone has the hot hand and we're trying to get them the ball,'' Peterson said of his big night in a losing effort. ''They trusted me more in the second half. They wanted me to keep on attacking and make the plays.''
Adrian Rich and Trey Chapman added 10 points apiece for VMI.
Virginia Tech finished shooting 60 percent from the floor (33 of 55) and hit 7 of 17 3-pointers. VMI shot 44 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 34-28.
Justin Bibbs and Chris Clarke each added 13 points for Tech.
Allen said he is not looking ahead to the ACC portion of the schedule.
''We have to think about how to get better now, hopefully it will get to that level,'' he said. ''I feel pretty good - off the court (and) on the court we love each other.''
Three games into the season Williams said he likes his team ''a lot.''
''I think they're playing for each other,'' he said.
Virginia Tech: Tech is now 91-43 all-time against the VMI Keydets in a rivalry that dates back to the 1908-09 season. The Hokies have won the last six games in the series. Tech doesn't begin the ACC portion of its schedule until a New Year's Eve noon home game against Duke.
VMI: The Keydets haven't beaten Virginia Tech since Dec. 4, 2004.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Hokies shot 51.7 percent from the free throw line - 41 percent in the second half. ''We could easily have scored 100 if we made our typical free throw percentage,'' said Williams. ''Hopefully it's an aberration; I don't think Seth Allen (1 of 5) is a 20-percent free throw shooter.''
Virginia Tech hits the road for their next game against New Mexico on Thanksgiving Day in Fullerton, California, competing in the Wooden Legacy tourney. ESPN will carry the 4:30pm contest. Williams noted the 10-day, 2 time zone trip: ''I don't know that Virginia Tech has ever done that.''
VMI is on the road Tuesday night against Presbyterian College. ''We'll find out a lot about ourselves in these next four games,'' said Earl of a stretch that also includes Campbell and Radford.