Virginia Tech tops UAB in OT at Emerald Coast Classic 82-77
NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) — With one of the youngest teams in Division I, Virginia Tech has been using the first month of the season trying to meld eight newcomers into one cohesive unit.
Three of the newcomers came up big during the second half and overtime on Saturday as the Hokies defeated UAB 82-77 in the third-place game at the Emerald Coast Classic.
“I thought it was a big win in a lot of ways. How we responded in the second half to beat a team in that made the NCAA Tournament last year means a lot,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said.
The Hokies are averaging 1.10 years of experience per player. That is 326th out of 350 teams.
Seth Allen, who transferred from Maryland, led Virginia Tech (4-2) with 23 points. With the score tied at 73 in overtime, he hit a 3-pointer to put the Hokies in the lead for good.
Zach LeDay had his fifth double-double in six games with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The South Florida transfer had four points in overtime to put the game out of reach.
Freshman Chris Clarke had his second double-double of the season (10 points, 16 rebounds). With two players in double figures in rebounds, the Hokies had a commanding 46-30 advantage on the boards.
“I am pleased with the job we are doing on the glass,” Williams said. “Most of that is due to playing aggressive. I thought that allowed us to play better against their zone defense in the second half.”
Virginia Tech trailed by eight points midway through the first half before steadily chipping away. The second half and overtime featured nine ties and five lead changes.
Another area where the game was won was at the free throw line. The Hokies were 24 of 32 compared to the Blazers’ 10 of 18. During the second half, Virginia Tech outscored UAB 16-1 at the foul line.
Nick Norton was one of four Blazers in double figures with 17 points, including five 3-pointers. His driving layup with 37.1 seconds remaining in regulation gave UAB a 71-69 lead before a pair of LeDay free throws sent the game into overtime.
Robert Brown and Hakeem Baxter scored 16 apiece for UAB (3-3) while Chris Cokley had 12 points and eight rebounds.
“There are certainly some positives we can take away from it in terms of development of the team. But, at the end of the day, we were unable to keep them off the free throw line and unable to get the loose balls and rebounds we needed to have,” UAB coach Jerod Hasse said
Virginia Tech: The Hokies have had 40-plus rebounds in five of their six games this season. They are averaging 46.2 boards per game.
UAB: In Haase’s four seasons as coach, the Blazers are 44-9 when allowing fewer than 70 points. They are 10-40 when opponents score 70 or more.
Both sides used 10 players but Virginia Tech’s bench had a commanding 40-16 advantage. ... Virginia Tech was 4 of 6 from the field in overtime while UAB struggled, going 1 for 7.
Virginia Tech: Hosts Northwestern on Tuesday as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
UAB: Hosts Georgia State on Tuesday.