The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team won its fifth game in a row on Wednesday, defeating the Delaware State Hornets by a score of 100-64. Tech capitalized on the 3-pointers in this matchup, setting a school record and ACC record with 21 total threes made.
The Hokies experienced their most balanced scoring attack of the season, with four players scoring in double figures. Isaiah Wilkins, Jalen Cone, and Nahiem Alleyne all hit five 3-pointers in the blowout victory.
“We have a number of kids that can shoot the ball,” said head coach Mike Young after the game. “I empower them; if the leather hits your hand, let it rip.”
The Hornets started the game hot, extending an early 7-0 lead over the Hokies. However, a 3-pointer by P.J. Horne and an and-one by Alleyne got the Hokies’ offense rolling early. Tech extended an 11-0 run to secure an early lead; the Hokies never trailed beyond Delaware State’s opening scoring run.
The Hokies and Hornets battled through a close start to the game, with Tech leading 16-12 through the first 10 minutes of action.
True freshmen Hunter Cattoor and Cone provided a spark in the first half, scoring eight points each. The Hokies extended their lead to 45-27 heading into halftime. Delaware State’s John Crosby was difficult to defend, scoring 15 points in the first half off 6-13 shooting; he finished the game with a team-high 19 points.
The Hokies thrived off the deep ball in the first half, converting eight out of 16 attempts from long range. Cattoor, Cone, and Wilkins all hit two 3-pointers through the first 20 minutes of play.
“I didn’t think we took a bad shot,” Young said. “They were all rhythm shots and good shots.”
To start the second half, the Hokies continued to let it fly from beyond the arc. Nine of Tech’s first 10 shots to start the half were 3-pointers, five of which the Hokies converted. Virginia Tech finished the game with a combined 21-for-37 stat line from 3-point range.
After scoring only two points in the first half, Tech’s leading scorer on the year Landers Nolley heated up and scored eight points in the second half to finish the day with 10.
Wabissa Bede controlled the tempo and was an effective floor general tonight, dishing out 10 assists and scoring five points. Bede finished the game with zero turnovers and added five rebounds.
“He’s a young man that’s been around and seen a number of plays,” Young said about Bede. “He knows how it’s supposed to play out and he sees things a step or two ahead of when they actually occur.”
Bede had a field day dishing the ball to open guards on the wing. Alleyne led all scorers with a career-high 20 points off 7-11 shooting. Cone was right behind Alleyne with 17 points off 5-8 shooting, while Wilkins finished with 15 points off 5-10 shooting. All three players hit five 3-pointers in Tech’s record-breaking night.
“It’s the old ‘Live by it, die by it,’” Young said. “We’ve got no choice; thankfully we have a number of kids who handle the ball; we can pass the ball well, and we’ve got a number of them that can shoot.”
Following five straight home victories, the Hokies will head to Hawaii to compete in the Maui Invitational. Tech encounters its toughest game of the early season as it faces the No. 3 overall Michigan State Spartans in the first round Nov. 25. The Hokies will play three games in Maui against some of the strongest programs in the nation. This will be Young’s biggest test thus far in his career at Virginia Tech.
“They’re unlike anything we’ve played to this point, but the time has come to play somebody really, really good,” Young said of Michigan State. “It will test everything that we’ve done with them through this point in the season.”