Smith, Bibbs lead Virginia Tech past Miami (Ohio)
CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Adam Smith scored 26 points, Justin Bibbs added 22 and Virginia Tech used a strong first half to defeat Miami (Ohio) 78-63 in the Riviera Division third-place game of the Cancun Classic on Wednesday.
The duo hit 15 of 22 shots, including 10 of 13 3-pointers for the Hokies (3-2), who were more impressive on defense in the first half.
In rolling to a 39-17 lead, Tech held the RedHawks (2-3) to 8 of 24 shooting, with just one attempt from the foul line and four 3′s (one good). The Hokies also had an 18-11 rebounding advantage and forced 13 turnovers.
Zach McCormick led Miami, which trailed by 27 with 6 minutes left, with 12 points.
The Hokies broke away from an early 9-9 tie with a 12-2 run. Bibbs kicked it off with a 3-pointer, followed by a dunk and 1 of 2 foul shooting from Joey van Zegeren. After McCormick scored for Miami, Smith, Jalen Hudson and Devin Wilson scored to make it 21-11 at 7:29, forcing the RedHawks to call timeout.
The stoppage didn’t help much. Smith hit a jumper, then a 3 at 3:25 and Virginia Tech had Miami doubled, 34-17.
Smith closed the half with a 3 to make it a 22-point game and Smith’s 15 points were just two shy of Miami’s total.
The Hokies were 11 of 24, with four 3′s and went 11 of 14 from the foul line.
Virginia Tech finished at 49 percent from the field and was better from behind the arc, making 10 of 19. The Hokies also went 18 of 24 from the foul line while Miami was 8 of 13. They were a plus-9 in rebounding, with van Zegeren getting nine to go with his eight points.
Miami (Ohio): The RedHawks were only out-rebounded by eight and had 16 turnovers in the loss to Northwestern a day earlier. ... Geovonie McKnight had four points, giving him seven in the two losses after hitting double figures in each of the first three games. ... Before arriving in Mexico, Will Sullivan had hit 11 of 17 from 3-point range, but went 0-1 against Northwestern. He rebounded to go 3 of 3 against Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech: After being held to eight points in the loss to Northern Iowa, Bibbs hit double figures for the fourth time in his five games, finishing with 22. ... Smith had seven in the loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore, going 1 for 5 behind the arc, but bounced back to finish two shy of his career best.
Miami and Virginia Tech met two previous times. Miami won 83-82 in overtime at the Miller Classic in Tampa, Fla., in 1985. Virginia Tech won 93-84 on its home court in December of 1979.
All activities surrounding the tournament took place on the premises of the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, an all-inclusive resort. The games were played in a ballroom, capable of seating about 1,800. The practice gym was in another ballroom.
Miami (Ohio) returns home to face Elon, which won the Mayan Division title, on Sunday in a game that is considered part of the Cancun Challenge.
Virginia Tech also wraps up the Cancun Challenge with a Sunday home game against Morgan State, which was third in the Mayan Division.