Daily Press (Sunday) - - Sports -

They scored 12 points dur­ing their first four pos­ses­sions of the pe­riod to seize to­tal com­mand at 45-26.

Im­pres­sively, Tech's ef­fort never waned, even as the lead bal­looned. In­deed, with the score 64-34, All-ACC point guard Justin Robin­son went sprawl­ing af­ter a loose ball and called a time­out with 3:45 re­main­ing.

That con­sis­tency of ef­fort earned a hand-slap from Tech coach Buzz Wil­liams as the teams went to their re­spec­tive benches. And it was such con­sis­tency that the Hok­ies lacked in a sleepy open­ing half.

“Buzz came in (at half­time) and got on us for not play­ing hard and play­ing all-star ball,” Hill said. “We wanted to make a state­ment by com­ing out, play­ing hard and get­ting in tran­si­tion.”

Nick­eil Alexan­der-Walker and Hill hit 3-point­ers to start the binge, fol­lowed by a Robin­son three-point play and an­other deep jumper by Hill.

Cou­ple those four trips with the close to the first half, and five Hok­ies com­bined to score 19 points on seven seam­less pos­ses­sions.

“When we get in that rhythm,” Out­law said, “that is what our coaches built this team to look like.”

Tech shot 53.6 per­cent in the sec­ond half to Saint Fran­cis' 20.7. The dis­par­ity was far more jar­ring from be­yond the 3-point arc af­ter in­ter­mis­sion as the Hok­ies went 8 of 14, the Red Flash 0 for 11.

Vir­ginia Tech ranks sev­enth na­tion­ally in of­fen­sive ef­fi­ciency, and Satur­day was a glimpse of its po­ten­tial.

The com­pe­ti­tion did not ap­proach what the Hok­ies faced while de­feat­ing Ball State, North­east­ern and Pur­due to win the Charleston Clas­sic last week in South Carolina, but the best teams ex­cel even when the foe is a notch be­low.

As is of­ten the case, the lone down­side for Tech was re­bound­ing. Saint Fran­cis had 16 of­fen­sive re­bounds, 10 in the first half, and five of its 15 field goals were on sec­ond chances.

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