The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team (9–1, 1–0 ACC) cruised past Dayton (5–5) on Wednesday night, overcoming an early deficit to win 77–49.
Forward Grant Basile dominated the entire game, scoring 23 points, shooting 53% from the field and 44% from behind the three-point arc across 30:58 total minutes. He also led the Hokies with 10 total rebounds. With 3:42 left in the first half, Basile had 20 points while the Flyers combined had 18.
The Hokies shot 49.2% from the field and 32.1% in three-pointers, while the Flyers shot 30% ahead of the arc and 20% behind it.
“(Basile) can really shoot the basketball and floor it a little bit,” said Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young. “He floored it a lot, actually.”
The Hokies trailed the Flyers for nearly the first five minutes of the game before a Basile three-pointer gave Tech a lead which they never surrendered.
“Once I hit a couple of (good shots), I felt good,” Basile said. “We got it going there for a little bit.”
Guard Sean Pedulla scored 19 points, shooting 8 for 13 from the field and 2 for 5 from behind the arc, before fouling out late in the second half.
Forward Justyn Mutts didn’t take any shots during the game, with the exception of two free throws late in the second half. Wednesday’s game snapped Mutts’s streak of six consecutive games scoring 10 or more points. Despite the low scoring, Young maintained that his scoring lull would be infrequent.
“I don’t like my life without number 25 (Mutts) on the floor,” Young said.
A challenge for the Hokies early in the game was Dayton’s height. The Flyers’ starters were all taller than 6’6, including forward DaRon Holmes II who stood at 6’10.
“They’re big, but every team has weaknesses,” Pedulla said. “And we just kind of forced them to make tough shots, and regardless of how tall you are, you still have to make the shots.”
Although Tech defeated the Flyers handedly, Young refused to discount their opponents’ talent and displayed optimism towards the rest of the season.
“When you beat the Flyers, a good basketball team, and limit them to 30% from the field and 20% from three, that will win a lot of ball games for you.” Young said
Looking forward, the Hokies are 9–1 overall, have won four consecutive games and are poised for an NCAA Tournament run if they continue to play this well.
“We’ve got a long way to go, man,” Young said. “But you know, knock on wood, we’ve got a chance to have a pretty good team again, I think.”
The Hokies will travel to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the same arena where they won the 2022 ACC Championship, to play Oklahoma State (6–3) on Sunday at 2 p.m.