Virginia Tech hammered Gardner-Webb 73-46 in Cassell Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. The Hokies improved to 8-3 overall with the victory, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs dropped to 3-8.
Tech was led in scoring by Landers Nolley, who finished just one rebound shy of a double-double. He had 18 points and nine rebounds, made 6-of-14 shots, and was 5-of-10 from three-point range. Fellow redshirt freshman Tyrece Radford did get a double-double, despite being just 6-1. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“Quiet,” Mike Young said of Radford. “His play isn’t quiet, his aggressiveness and toughness isn’t quiet, but the numbers… I would’ve never guessed he had a double-double. Just the type of year that he’s putting together for us, he’s a very good player.”
Isaiah Wilkins and Hunter Cattoor came off the bench to score 13 and 11 points respectively. They were the key cogs in a bench effort that outscored Gardner-Webb’s reserves 34-0. John Ojiako also had four points and nine rebounds, while Jalen Cone added six points.
Tech’s starters struggled a bit offensively in the first half, but it was the guys off the bench who carried the load in the first 20 minutes.
“I thought Isaiah played very well,” Young said. “I was happy to get John [Ojiako] 21 minutes. He’s going to be a very good player. Some of that was due to fouls, some of that in the second half was due to the margin. To get him on the floor for 21 minutes, he just needs to see some more things. He’s a visual learner. To have the opportunity to see yourself play and how we covered this and that. I’ve told you before, he’s got big eyes. He really wants to play well and help you win. He’s going to get there. He’s going to be a really good player.”
Tech led 34-24 at halftime, though the score was closer than that for most of those 20 minutes. The Hokies blew the doors off Gardner-Webb in the second half 39-22. The victory started on the defensive end, with the Runnin’ Bulldogs shooting just 16-of-55 (29.1%) from the field and 7-of-28 (25%) from three-point range.
“We were good defensively and I think that translated into us getting buckets on offense,” Hunter Cattoor said. “We played together as a group, talked on defense and got steals in transition.”
Still, Mike Young wasn’t 100% pleased, noting that Gardner-Webb missed some shots they should have made, and that the Hokies will have to get better.
“Not the least bit satisfied with how we are guarding the arc. They made two 3s in the first before the first media timeout. They only made one from that point forward. I thought we did a little bit of a better job there.”
The Hokies will get nearly a week off before their next game. Tech host VMI next Saturday at 4pm. The game will be televised by The ACC Network.
Game Notes From Virginia Tech
Record and Notables
- Virginia Tech improves to 8-3 overall with the victory over the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
- Landers Nolley ranks fifth in the ACC in points averaging 18.5 per game. Wabissa Bede ranks second in the ACC in assists with 6.8 per game.
- Tech leads the all-time series 3-0 following the victory today. The Hokies first defeated Gardner-Webb 65-62 in 2008. Last season, the Hokies beat the Runnin’ Bulldogs 87-59 in Tech’s season-opener. All three matchups have been played in Blacksburg.
- UP NEXT: The Hokies will continue their home stretch when they take on VMI on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 4 p.m. ET 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 ninth straight game the Hokies have started these five, resulting in six victories. These five are averaging 54.9 points per game combined.
- KEY FIRST HALF RUN: Tech was leading 14-11 with just under 12 minutes remaining when freshman Jalen Cone nailed a 3-pointer, sophomore Isaiah Wilkins finished an and-1 and freshman Hunter Cattoor scored a fastbreak layup to push the lead to 22-11. With just over two minutes to go in the first half, Catoor drilled a triple from downtown and freshman John Ojiako snatched an offensive rebound and finished it home to give Tech a 32-21 lead. The Hokies entered the break leading 34-24.
- KEY SECOND HALF RUN: Early in the second half, Nolley sunk back-to-back 3s from way downtown to give Tech a healthy 45-27 advantage. Midway through the second, Nolley again hit a jumper followed by a Cattoor 3-pointer to provide Tech with a 22-point lead at 53-31. The Hokies led the entire second half.
- Nolley scored a team-high 18 points against the Bulldogs. Nolley has led Tech in scoring in seven out Tech’s 11 games this season.
- Tech received significant contributions off the bench, with Wilkins scoring 13 points and Cattoor adding 11. The Hokies’ bench scored a combined 34 points.
- Tyrece Radford recorded his first double-double of his career with 10 points and 10 boards. Radford is tied with Nolley for the team-high in rebounds per game with a 5.8 average.
- Landers Nolley scored 18 points against the Bulldogs and has now scored in double-figures in every game this season but one (Duke, Dec. 6). Nolley has now also scored 15 plus points in eight contests this season.
- Hunter Cattoor recorded his fourth double-figures scoring performance this season with 11 points. Cattoor also swiped a career-high three steals against the Bulldogs.
- Isaiah Wilkins put together his second-highest scoring performance of the season with 13 points (15, Delaware St., Nov. 20). Wilkins had two steals which his season high.
- John Ojiako grabbed a career-high nine rebounds against the Bulldogs.