Virginia Tech Falls To Miami 71-61

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Tyrece Radford, Virginia Tech
Tyrece Radford had 24 points, eight rebounds and three steals against Miami, but it wasn’t enough. (Miami athletics)

Virginia Tech got off to a terrible start in the first half, rallied in the second half, but ultimately it wasn’t enough in a 71-61 defeat to Miami on the road on Tuesday night.  The Hokies dropped to 14-7 overall and 5-5 in the ACC, while the Hurricanes improved to 11-9 overall and 3-7 in league play.

The game got off to a fast start, with neither team playing much defense.  A three-pointer by Tech’s PJ Horne tied the game at 17 with 11:54 remaining in the first half, but that’s when the wheels fell off temporarily for the Hokies.  Miami embarked on a massive 24-2 run capped by a Rodney Miller layup that made the score 41-19 with just 4:04 left in the opening half.  The Hurricanes carried a 44-25 lead into the halftime intermission.

Miami managed to jump out to the big lead despite being without leading scorer Chris Lykes.

“I just thought they were a lot quicker than we were,” Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young said. “You give up 44 points [in the first half] … my team’s been pretty darn good throughout defensively, and you give up 44 points. They just drove us and came off dribble handoffs hot and we were to it and flying. Our connectivity was poor, certainly, even without [Chris] Lykes, they have some kids that can score the ball. It was disappointing and they clearly outplayed us the first [20 minutes].”

Virginia Tech put together a much better performance in the second half, outscoring Miami 36-27.  They managed to cut the lead to just four points with 1:01 to play.  Following a missed free throw by the Hurricanes after Landers Nolley cut the lead to 63-59, Tech got the ball back with just under a minute to play in a very manageable situation.  However, Wabissa Bede and Nolley didn’t connect with a pass and Miami came away with a turnover.  The Hurricanes hit their free throws down the stretch and walked away 71-61 winners.

“I just think we should have played the first half like we finished the second half,” Tyrece Radford said. “If we would have done that, the game would have been a lot different. But with us not doing that, it kicked us in the butt at the end.”

Not that Radford was a reason for the loss.  The redshirt freshman scored 24 points, pulled down eight rebounds, and had three steals.  He was instrumental in Virginia Tech’s second half comeback.  For the game he was 10-of-13 from the field and had just one turnover, while the rest of the team was just 14-of-46 from the field with 11 turnovers.

Landers Nolley added 14 points for Tech, but was just 6-of-15 from the field.  Wabissa Bede racked up eight assists, but committed an uncharacteristic six turnovers.

Next up for the Hokies is a home game with No. 5 Florida State this Saturday in Cassell Coliseum.  Tipoff is scheduled for 4pm, and the game will be televised by RSN.  Check your local listings.

Box Score

Game Notes from Virginia Tech

Records and Notables

  • Virginia Tech falls to 14-7 overall and 5-5 in ACC play.
  • Miami snaps Tech’s three-game winning streak over the Hurricanes. The Hokies won three straight against the Hurricanes in the 2018-2019 season, including the 71-56 win in the ACC Tournament.
  • Mike Young is 0-2 against the Canes and 1-2 versus Jim Larranaga.
  • This is the Hokies’ first loss in Coral Gables since 2017-2018 when they were defeated 69-68.
  • Miami leads the all-time series 23-17.
  • UP NEXT: ​Tech will return to Blacksburg for a matchup with No. ⅚ Florida State on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET at Cassell Coliseum.

Team Notes

  • Virginia Tech started a lineup of Wabissa Bede, Tyrece Radford, Landers Nolley, P.J. Horne, and Nahiem Alleyne, marking the third straight game the Hokies have gone with a different five to start the game.
  • Miami outscored Tech 36-24 in points in the paint and outrebounded the Hokies 36-31.
  • Tech tied its season high in steals with 11 (Wake Forest, Jan. 14) and forced Miami to commit 16 turnovers.
  • Tech’s bench was outscored 10-9. This is just the third time this season the Hokies bench has not reached double-figures.
  • KEY FIRST HALF RUN:​ With 11:34 to go in the first, the Hurricanes Rodney Miller scored an old-fashioned three-point play followed by a triple from the ‘Canes’ Kameron Mcgusty, which would spark and be a part of a 24-2 run giving Miami a 41-19 lead. Tech ended the first half on a 6-3 run and Miami went into the break leading 44-25.
  • KEY SECOND HALF RUN:​ With just under nine minutes to go in the game, guard Tyrece Radford scored back-to-back transition buckets to cut into the deficit and make the score 54-43 with Miami on top. Looking for a comeback, with just over one minute to go, redshirt freshman Landers Nolley drilled a floater and then finished a layup to make the score 63-59 with Miami leading. Miami held on late to win 71-61.


Individual Notes

  • Tyrece Radford registered a career-high 24 points and led Tech in scoring for the first time this season. Radford also collected three steals, which is his second-most of the season (4, Wake Forest 1/14/20).
  • Landers Nolley’s 14 points marks his 19th game scoring in double figures and ninth consecutive outing reaching double digits in points. Nolley also recorded five rebounds, marking his 16th game this season with five or more boards.
  • PJ Horne hit two 3s against the Hurricanes, which is his second-highest 3-point total in ACC games for the season and his most in a game since he hit three against Duke on Dec. 6.
  • Wabissa Bede dished out eight assists against Miami, marking his 19th game leading Tech in assists. This is also Bede’s seventh game with eight or more assists.


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25 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. We reference the youth and inexperience of this team but we have now played 21 games. Let’s no forget our most experienced player cannot shoot period. Any game he has more than 3 turnovers we will not win consistently. He plays great defense and plays hard so we must take care of the basketball from the point position

  2. Bede’s shooting looks like Elaine Bennis dancing. Just hard to look at. For someone who has worked so hard on his game, it is hard to believe he is getting worse at shooting the ball.

    I swear last year when he drove to the bucket he was much more successful at making a shot.

    Go Hokies!

  3. Jalen Cone played 15 minutes and took 2 shots. Alleyne played 17 minutes and was 3-4 from the field. 2 of our best 3 shooters played less than half the game and took a total of 6 shots. That’s ridiculous! That’s why we lost.

    We are a tiny team. Our 3 point shooters have to keep letting it fly. If they miss put them back in and do it again and again. Teams have quit guarding Bede and the Wizard of Oz can’t fix it. Less time on the floor for him because of that is where the additional Alleyne and Cone time should’ve come from. 5 more minutes for Cone and Alleyne and 10 minutes less for Bede.

    1. On the message board someone suggested that Cone didn’t play much because he can’t defend ACC guards. That may be the case but he has been playing and helping us offensively so I assume MY felt the trade-off was worth it. So, I wonder why he felt
      Cone shouldn’t have been on the floor much when we were having so much trouble scoring. I trust his decision just would like to understand it.

      1. That might be true, but Alleyne was 3-4 from the field and only played 17 minutes. That was unwarranted in my opinion.

        Even if Cone is small and not great on D, at least his man is forced to cover him versus the guy who never covers Bede and simply helps out on other players, making it harder for other guys to score.

        Also, when Cone gets hot, he really gets hot, and that can quickly change the games’ dynamic.

        Instead of Bede playing 37 minutes, how about 27, and giving 5 more each to Alleyne and Cone.

        1. Hard to argue that. I suppose CMY values Bede feeding others More than Cone scoring but last night was rough for Bede in his best skill

  4. I for one was never very comfortable with all the bubble talk and analysis of which game was worth how many points in the ratings formula. Far better, with such a young team, to simply take it game by game. I’m still thrilled with the young talent we have; still incredibly happy that CMY is our coach; still hoping like heck we can get the couple of big men this program needs; and still eager to see what kind of growth and improvement will happen in the next game, and the next, and the next …

  5. I don’t know. A tweak at the PG position is needed. TOs and no points from that spot are killing us lately.

    1. I agree.lf Bede continues at the point and I’m sure he will he should not shoot the ball unless he has an uncontested layup.8

      1. That’s problem. If he doesn’t shoot, he doesn’t need to be guarded. Teams are just defending pass lanes when he has the ball and don’t have to even contest him shooting. If he’s wide open, he needs to take & make them

    2. Y’all need to stop beating on Bede. Last night was his first bad game in 2020, arguably this season. This year’s team does not need him to score; completely unlike Brents team which required JRob to score from the point. Bede’s role is to distribute the ball (e.g. get assists while avoiding turnovers) and play D. He has done both well. He was off his game last night, though. And his Achilles Heel is free throw shooting. A point guard needs to hit 75% or better FT’s. The whole team was off last night, except Radford.

      1. I’m afraid you may not be seeing the same game we’re watching……Bede is bad and was definitely bad last night….and he plays with the arrogance that hes good. Which really burns me up.

        Most of the bad turnovers or bad break away baskets to the opposition were due to Bedes play and missed shots.

        1. Hold on that was out of l . . . Crap actually you got a point there. If Bede added lock down D to his passing I could look past the his total lack of scoring.

  6. Afraid the “thrill is gone.” There is still “hope” but this team is young and the run through ACC play is taking it’s toll. All of them need more experience which will benefit them down the road (next season).

  7. Anyone who didn’t see this coming is just unrealistic…….fans got way too high on wins and came to conclusions that were never going to happen.

    1. Just because the expectations weren’t met doesn’t mean they were unrealistic. Going into last two games we were 14-5 and had won 3 conference road games. We were favored in the last two games by folks risking money. There was no reason to predict we would have lost both games just like there was no reason to think we would have won the 3 ACC road games with this young team. NCAA expectations were hopes based upon the way we had played through 19 games. They may have been wrong but not unrealistic.

  8. A youthful team showing its youth during the Miami first half run. They hit shots, we didn’t. It still bothers me that we only get to the foul line 9 times (and only make 5). A few ball fakes and shot fakes would keep the defense honest and produce some FT’s. Also need to drive to the basket with authority, no flip shots. Hopefully we can play with more consistency down the stretch. We have some very winnable games after FSU…need to win 3 out of those 4, if not all 4 to restore the confidence.

  9. This team has out performed all realistic expectations for the year. The coaching staff and players have been good enough to win in most situations this year. A real trial by fire for so many on the team. Each of these losses provide valuable experience for our young players, they continue to learn how to conserve their mental and physical energy for the grind which is major college basket ball. They are learning how to balance their primary purpose for being in this situation, gaining an education, with the demands of travel, sleeping in strange beds, eating strange food and experiencing different cities and venues twice a week. I believe they have done a great job and I have great hopes for the team for the rest of the season and into the future.

  10. This team is going to struggle to win 2-3 more games this year after all the excitement of a potential ncaa berth only a week ago

    1. Yep, the freshman experience has caught up to them. Two losses, while on the road, to bad teams isn’t a good sign for the rest of the year.

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