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LeDay's big game lifts Virginia Tech over UMES 75-59

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Virginia Tech is quickly the key to stopping opposing team's runs over the course of a game.

Just simply get the ball to No. 32 and get out of his way.

Zach LeDay scored 23 points to carry Virginia Tech to a 75-59 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Wednesday night.

Coming off the bench as he has all season, LeDay hit 7 of 10 shots from the floor and all 10 of his free throws for the Hokies (7-1), who are off to their best start since opening the 2012-13 season with a 7-0 mark.

''Zach is a great player, and when he gets it in the paint, he's hard to guard,'' Virginia Tech guard Seth Allen said.

The Hokies led UMES (1-8) by as many as 27 points, but the Hawks scored on 10 of 13 possessions during one stretch in the second half and cut the lead to 54-45 on Ryan Andino's 3-pointer with 7:57 remaining.

Virginia Tech got 3-point happy during that stretch, launching numerous from behind the arc and not connecting. A timeout by head coach Buzz Williams resulted in the Hokies getting the ball to LeDay, and he had the answers.

LeDay converted on back-to-back 3-point plays to push the lead back into double figures, and the Hokies weren't threatened again.

''When things are haywire, they're going to throw the ball to Zach, and Zach wants them to throw the ball to him,'' Williams said. ''We did go too long of a stretch without him even getting a touch. We want Zach to get a touch. He's very efficient.''

LeDay scored at least 20 points for the third time this season. Justin Robinson had 12 points, and Allen added 11.

Andino, who hit seven 3-pointers, scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half to lead the Hawks.

BIG PICTURE

UMES: The Hawks will need more production from senior Bakari Copeland to be a contender for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title this season. Copeland was averaging a team-best 14 points per game, but failed to score in the first half. He finished with nine points.

Virginia Tech: Seniors LeDay and Allen, two of the Hokies' top four leading scorers, both come off the bench, but the strategy is working for Virginia Tech. LeDay has scored in double figures in seven of eight games, while Allen has scored in double figures in five.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Allen appears to be settling into his role as a point guard off the bench for the Hokies. He tied a career high with eight assists, which marks his third game this season with at least five assists. Last year, he only had two such games. Against the Hawks, Virginia Tech had 19 assists on 26 field goals, and for the season, the Hokies have 44 more assists than turnovers.

UP NEXT

UMES will play the second of six straight road games this Saturday when the Hawks travel to Orlando, Florida, to play UCF. The Hawks, who have played one home game this season, do not play at home again until Jan. 2.

Virginia Tech returns to action Sunday for an important game against Ole Miss. The two teams haven't met since 2008, and a win over an SEC team would help the Hokies, who have NCAA Tournament aspirations. It also might propel the Hokies into the Top 25, where they currently are receiving votes.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
Team Stats
Points 0 0
Field Goals 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
3-Pointers 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Free Throws 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Total Rebounds 0 0
Offensive 0 0
Defensive 0 0
Team 0 0
Assists 0 0
Steals 0 0
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fouls 0 0
Technicals 0 0
Team Stats
away team logo Md.-E. Shore 4-24 56.0 PPG 32.7 RPG 11.2 APG
home team logo Va. Tech 20-6 74.7 PPG 35.1 RPG 15.9 APG
Key Players
1
R. Andino 10.6 PPG 1.6 RPG 0.5 APG 32.3 FG%
4
N. Alexander-Walker 16.7 PPG 3.9 RPG 3.8 APG 49.8 FG%
Top Scorers
PTS REB AST
PTS REB AST
0 FG% 0
0 3PT FG% 0
0 FT% 0
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB