BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Justin Bibbs came into Virginia Tech’s game on Sunday lacking the required minimum number of attempts to lead the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage.
The Hokies may want to get him the ball a little more frequently.
Bibbs tied a career high with five 3-pointers and matched his season high with 17 points to lead Virginia Tech to an 88-53 win over Larmar.
Zach LeDay hit 8 of 13 from the floor for 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season, and the Hokies had six players reach double figures for the first time this season.
Bibbs hit his first 3-pointer 16 seconds into the game. Virginia Tech (7-3) scored the first 12 points of the game and never trailed.
”It’s like practice shots,” Bibbs said. ”My feet are set. My teammates are getting into the lane and kicking it out, and I’m wide open. It’s not anything crazy that’s working out for me. I’m just getting set shots, and I practice those. I’m not going to force anything. I’m just going to let it come to me and take them if I’m open.”
Lamar (5-4) missed its first seven shots from the floor and didn’t score until Marcus Owens’ field goal with 14:22 left in the first half.
The Hokies hit 54.3 percent of their shots (19 of 35) in the first half. Jalen Hudson scored 13 points and Bibbs had 11 in the first half, and the two combined for five of Virginia Tech’s six 3-pointers.
The Hokies were up 51-23 at halftime and led by as many as 40 in the second half in winning their third straight game.
”Momentum is the hardest thing to get in life, but it’s harder to keep,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. ”We do have a little bit of momentum, but we also have a lot of ground to make up. We don’t want to get too carried away.
”Alabama State did beat us (85-82). Northwestern beat us (81-79 in OT). We weren’t even in the game against Iowa State from the jump tip (99-77). But I am pleased with the maturity of our group. Even the untrained eye can see that the confidence is rising.”
Owens and Nick Garth led the Cardinals with 12 points.
The Hokies held Lamar to just 33.3 percent shooting (18 of 54) for the game. Garth, the Cardinals’ leading scorer at 15.5 points per game, hit just 4 of 13 from the floor. Lincoln Davis, who was averaging 12.3 points, scored just two and did not hit a field goal.
”Virginia Tech did a good job with their energy,” Lamar coach Tic Price said. ”We lost in a lot of effort areas – rebounding, our transition defense was missing in action.
”My team hasn’t seen that kind of effort all year. This is probably the best defense we’ve seen thus far. I think it’s going to help us grow up. Give Virginia Tech a lot of credit. They did a good job of taking it to us from start to finish.”
Hudson scored 14 for the Hokies. Kerry Blackshear, Jr., and Chris Clarke each finished with 11, and Seth Allen had 10.
Lamar: The game marked the return to Blacksburg for Price, who played for the Hokies from 1976-79 and also served as an assistant coach from 1989-91. . Virginia Tech’s 51 points were the most allowed by Lamar in a half this season. . Owens scored in double figures for just the third time this season.
Virginia Tech: Bibbs made 5 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc. He led the ACC in 3-point field-goal percentage (64.5) coming into the game, and now has made 25 of 40 (62.5) this season. . The Hokies have won four of their past five games, with the lone loss coming against Northwestern in overtime. . The Hokies’ 51 points in the first half were their most in a half this season. . Virginia Tech moved to 3-0 all time versus teams from the Southland Conference. . Assistant coach Steve Roccaforte was the head coach at Lamar from 2006-11.
”Boy, this is a helluva way to be welcomed home, isn’t it?” Price said.
Lamar plays at home against Jarvis Christian on Friday.
Virginia Tech plays at home against Grambling State on Saturday.