FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) Justin Robinson had 22 points and eight assists, Ahmed Hill added 18 points and Virginia Tech defeated New Mexico 92-72 in the first round of the Wooden Legacy on Thursday.
Chris Clarke had eight points, nine rebounds and four assists as the Hokies (4-0) capitalized on timely three-point shooting and an edge on the glass.
Tim Williams had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Elijah Brown scored 16 points for the Lobos (3-1), who fell to 6-17 all-time against ACC teams.
Virginia Tech scored nine unanswered points in a 1:30 stretch late in the first half to create separation, starting the run with Zach LeDay’s three-pointer to break a 23-23 tie. LeDay finished with 16 points.
In the second half, Virginia Tech pulled away behind the hot shooting of Hill and Justin Bibbs. Bibbs and Hill combined to score 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range, while the Hokies shot 59.3 percent from the field after the break.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies are ready for their non-conference tests. After starting the season against three pushovers, Virginia Tech looked sharp against its first opponent really capable of mounting a challenge to kick off an arduous four-game stretch that includes a road trip to Michigan as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
New Mexico: The Lobos must manufacture more touches for Williams. After earning Mountain West player of the week honors for trouncing Houston Baptist and New Mexico State, the senior turned in another strong performance by making 8 of 13 shots. However, there were too many possessions where Williams was a spectator despite having the hot hand. If New Mexico is going to do damage in conference, Williams has to be more central to the offense.
Virginia Tech will face Texas A&M on Friday in the winner’s half of the bracket, though the size and length of the Aggies could present serious issues to a perimeter-oriented team.
New Mexico plays Cal State Northridge on Friday on the other side of the draw. Provided the Lobos keep Michael Warren in check after he broke out for 19 points against Texas A&M, they should respond quite well.