Just five days removed from its subpar performance against No. 10 Duke, the Virginia Tech Hokies (6-3, 1-1 ACC) matched up against the Chattanooga Mocs (6-4, 0-1 Southern Conference) at home. The Hokies have still been working out their kinks early with new coach Mike Young, as the team has been on a three-game losing streak.
The most notable loss of the three games was in an ACC conference contest against No. 10 Duke. The Hokies led the first half of the game, but simply failed to string anything together offensively and defensively as they put up a measly 22 points to the Blue Devils’ 39 points in the second half in a heartbreaking 63-77 defeat. Virginia Tech sought redemption in this game against Chattanooga, and redemption was surely what they earned.
The Mocs matched up very well with the Hokies for most of the game, as the two teams traded leads multiple times. Virginia Tech came into the game ranked 10th in the nation in 3-point percentage, yet they didn’t showcase that success in tonight’s game. The team shot at a very pedestrian 23.1% as they were 3-of-13 from beyond the arc. The edge the Hokies had over the Mocs, which saved their first half from being a disaster, was their rebounding.
The Hokies outrebounded them 22-13; nine out of those boards were on the offensive end. The offensive boards contributed to the 14 second-chance points they had over the Mocs, who only had one second-chance point in the first half. Freshman Nahiem Alleyne came up big for Virginia Tech as he led with 13 points going into halftime.
As rough as the Hokies played the first half, they stepped up big time in this close contest. Virginia Tech improved its 3-point percentage in the second half, as it shot at a 37.5% clip. Redshirt freshman Landers Nolley II picked up the scoring load in the second half as he dropped 13 of the 31 points the Hokies scored in the second half. Nolley ended the game with 19 points, second on the team behind Alleyne’s 22 points.
“We weren’t very crisp, and I am frustrated by that, but we will look forward to getting back on the practice floor and getting better,” coach Young said.
Redshirt freshman Tyrece Radford and junior Wabissa Bede also put up notable showings in the game. Radford was an energy player for the Hokies tonight as he was hustling the entire time he was on the court, particularly on the glass. Though his stats were not flashy, junior Wabissa Bede slowly become a leader for this young Virginia Tech as he put up seven points, seven assists, eight rebounds and hit the game-sealing three with 1:09 left on the clock in the second half.
“He shot it very well today and in our shoot around,” coach Young said. “For him to get that shot home, it was nice to see, needless to say.”
Even though it was not a pretty win, it was a much needed win to help get the Hokies back on track.
With this win, the Virginia Tech Hokies improve to 7-3 on the season. They look to improve to 8-3 after their next game as they take on the Gardner Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs (3-6) on Dec. 15 at 1:30 p.m. at Cassell Stadium.