Lost behind the football team’s 45-0 destruction of Georgia Tech was another Virginia Tech blowout win on Saturday. The men’s basketball team beat Lehigh 79-53 to go to 4-0 on the season, and they have one more tuneup game before traveling to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. The Mountain Hawks dropped to 2-2.
Lehigh has won 20 games in two of their last three seasons, and overall are 206-151 under head coach Brett Reed. Outside of Clemson, they represented Virginia Tech’s biggest challenge over the first five games of the season, and the Hokies easily passed that test. Tech led just 37-32 at halftime, but dominated the second half 42-21 en route to the easy win.
Defense again was the story of the day for the Hokies. Lehigh shot 48% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range in the first half. However, those numbers dropped to 32.1% and 20% in the second half as the Hokies turned up the heat on that end of the court.
“Disciplined – where we needed to be,” Mike Young said of his team’s defensive effort. “Guys immersing themselves in the scouting report – [Associate Head Coach] Chester Frazier did an exceptional job in preparing our team for Lehigh’s actions, which are very good. Brett Reed is a very good coach; it was his team that beat Duke there several years ago in the NCAA Tournament. [Defensively], it’s just attention to detail.”
Redshirt freshman Tyrece Radford started for the Hokies for the second straight game, and though his eight points and 11 rebounds might stand out in the box score, it was what he did on defense that really helped the Hokies.
“We did something we weren’t going to do – put Tyrece [Radford] on the point guard,” Young said. “So much of what they do goes through the point guard and they ran a more difficult action and Tyrece guarded it exactly the way we talked about guarding it. He’s typically guarding the three, but we moved him to the one, and he guards it perfectly. Tyrece Radford is playing great for us – five offensive rebounds at the half, six for the game. He’s the king of the 50/50 ball.”
Once again it was Landers Nolley who set the pace offensively. The redshirt freshman finished with 27 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. He was 10-of-19 from the field and 7-of-12 from three-point range. He was joined in double figures by PJ Horne (14) and Hunter Cattoor (11).
Overall, the Hokies shot 47.7% from the field and 37.8% from three-point range. They attempted a whopping 37 three-pointers, making 14 of them.
On a day where former Virginia Tech head coach Charlie Moir was remembered before the opening tip, Young pointed out Moir’s accomplishments in Blacksburg.
“In remembrance of Coach [Charlie] Moir; Coach Moir was kind enough, was in good health to come when I was announced here. I didn’t know coach well, but I know Page [son of Charlie] very, very well through coaching circles. [Charlie’s] kindness and thoughtfulness as a gentleman; he won a lot of basketball games here – that ’79 team. I know he loved this university and [I] certainly wanted to recognize Coach Moir here and his passing.”
Records and Notables
- Virginia Tech improves to 4-0 on the season and is 1-0 in ACC play.
- Virginia Tech has now started the season off 4-0 for the second straight year. In 2018-2019 the Hokies started 5-0 before falling to Penn State 63-62 on the road. In 2016-2017 the Tech started 4-0 as well, so that makes three out of the last four years.
- This was the first-ever meeting between Virginia Tech and Lehigh, with Tech now owning a 1-0 mark.
- UP NEXT: The Hokies will face Delaware State on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. ET at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum.
- Virginia Tech used the starting lineup of Wabissa Bede, Tyrece Radford, P.J. Horne, Landers Nolley II, and Nahiem Alleyne. This is the second straight game the Hokies have started these five out of the gate.
- KEY FIRST HALF RUN: The Hawks led 18-13 halfway through the first half when P.J. Horne hit a jumper followed by back-to-back 3s by Landers Nolley and Hunter Cattoor to give the Hokies a 21-18 advantage. The Hokies led by just five points with under four minutes to go in the game when Wabissa Bede hit a jumper and Landers Nolley drilled a triple. This would be part of a 7-2 run to close out the half with Tech leading 37-32.
- KEY SECOND HALF RUN: With just under 12 minutes to go in the second half, Cattoor finished a fastbreak lay-up, Nolley hit a jumper in the paint, and then Cattoor hit a three-pointer and just like that the Hokies led 55-38. Nolley then caught fire, hitting three straight 3s to give Tech a 69-42 lead. The Hawks would not recover from those two runs.
- Landers Nolley led the Hokies, recording 27 points with seven 3-pointers.
- The Hokies nailed 14 3s, which marks a new season-high, topping Wednesday night’s 13 triples versus USC Upstate.
- Hunter Cattoor shot 50 percent from the field, went 3-for-7 from deep and added a career-high 11 points, topping his previous career high of nine points set last game against USC Upstate.|
- Landers Nolley led the team in scoring for the second straight game recording 27 points. Nolley hit seven 3-pointers, which is his career-high. Nolley also added a career-high four assists.
- Tyrece Radford played a career-high 29 minutes and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds. Radford also shot 4 of 6 from the field with eight points on the day.
- Wabissa Bede tallied six assists, had eight versus USC Upstate and had 10 against Coppin State, totaling to 24 over a three-game span.
- PJ Horne shot 6 for 8 from the field and recorded a season-high 14 points, including two 3s, and five rebounds. Horne has hit a three in every game this season.