BLACKSBURG, Virginia — Virginia Tech fans had been waiting to see the real Seth Allen, the one who averaged in double figures as a sophomore at Maryland two seasons ago.
On Saturday, they got a glimpse of that player.
Allen scored 17 points to lift Virginia Tech to a 76-52 victory over VMI on Saturday.
Allen, who transferred from Maryland and sat out last season according to NCAA rules, came off the bench for the second straight game after starting the season opener. He hit 5 of 11 field goals, including three 3-pointers. He also had six rebounds and three assists.
Coming in, he had hit just 4 of 18 shots this season.
"I just kept working hard," Allen said. "I knew if I kept working hard, then it would come to me. I came here at midnight (Friday night) and shot. I came here before shoot-around (Saturday) and shot and shot after shoot-around. I kept doing what I usually do. The game honors hard work and toughness, so I'm just going to keep on working hard."
"I believe in Seth. Seth is going to make shots," Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. "We just have to make sure they're 'us' shots. When they're 'us' shots, he'll do what he did tonight. He'll shoot 60 percent from 3. He missed a couple of layups that he'll normally make.
"He was pressing (the first two games). He wants to do good. He wants to do good for the right reasons. He may have been ballyhooed a little too much. I'm not sure that's easy to process when you're 20 years old. He let the game come to him a little more, and he took more 'us' shots."
Chris Clarke scored 14 points, while Zach LeDay had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Robinson and Justin Bibbs each scored 11. Johnny Hamilton had a career-high 11 rebounds.
The game was tied at 31 early in the second half, but the Hokies used a 9-0 run to grab a 40-31 lead and never trailed again. Clarke scored four in that spurt and the Hokies gradually pulled away.
VMI's Julian Eleby stopped the run with a 3-pointer that pulled the Keydets within 40-34 with 16:06 remaining, but VMI hit just one field goal over the next five minutes. VMI made just four of its first 21 attempts from the floor to start the second half.
"They pressed, and with the shot clock at 30 seconds, when teams are pressing a little bit, it takes more time off the clock," VMI coach Dan Earl said. "Then once you get into offense, you don't have a lot of time to run something. So that affected us a little bit.
Allen scored 11 points and hit all three of his 3-pointers in the second half. The Hokies hit all six of their 3-pointers and shot 50 percent (16 of 32) in the final 30 minutes.
They also got to the free-throw line with regularity. Virginia Tech hit 24 of 33 free throws, while VMI shot just six free throws.
"Everything is predicated on paint touches," Williams said. "If we can get 22 to 26 percent of our points from the free-throw line, there's probably a lot of good things that are happening."
VMI (1-2) shot just 25.7 percent (19 of 74) from the floor and made just eight field goals in the second half. Peterson led the Keydets with 26 points, while Eleby finished with 15.
Virginia Tech: Williams changed his shirt at halftime and put on a long-sleeved shirt with football coach Frank Beamer's face on the front of it. Beamer, who retiring at season's end, coached in his final home game Saturday . Point guard Devin Wilson still hasn't played this season because of an adductor (muscle in the hip) injury . After missing 15 free throws in each of its first two games, Virginia Tech missed just nine against the Keydets.
VMI: They Keydets were picked to finish 10th in the Southern Conference . They have no one taller than 6-foot-6 on their roster . Peterson scored 18 points in the first half, hitting four 3-pointers . VMI hit seven 3-pointers in the first half . VMI hasn't beaten Virginia Tech since 2004 and hasn't won in Blacksburg since 1997.
VMI plays host to Presbyterian on Tuesday.
Virginia Tech plays North Carolina A&T at home Tuesday.