BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- A.D. Vassallo made 11 of 14 field goal tries and scored 27 points in 25 minutes Wednesday night as sharp-shooting Virginia Tech made easy work of Morgan State, 94-62, in the first round of the NIT.
The Hokies (20-13) showed no letdown after being snubbed by the NCAA tournament. They led 40-25 at halftime and shot better than 65 percent for the game.Morgan State (22-11), guaranteed a spot in the NIT as a regular season conference champion knocked out of its league tournament, trailed 21-18 before the Hokies went on a 19-7 run to close the first half. Vassallo had nine points in the burst.Virginia Tech led by no fewer than 13 throughout the second half and advanced to a meeting with UAB in the second round. The Blazers (23-10) won 80-77 at VCU.Marquise Kately led UAB with 21 points, Boubacar Coly had 11 and Jermaine Bolden 10, but the Bears were outrebounded 35-21 and outscored 18-5 at the free-throw line.Deron Washington, the Hokies' only senior, added 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Malcolm Delaney scored 13 and Jeff Allen had 10. The Hokies starters were a combined 24-for-34 from the field and the team finished 34-for-52 (65.4 percent).