Tough Shooting Night In Brooklyn Limits Virginia Tech vs. No. 9 Memphis

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Nahiem Alleyne led Virginia Tech with 21 points in the loss to No. 9 Memphis. (Ivan Morozov)

Though Virginia Tech only trailed No. 9 Memphis by three at halftime in the Barclays Center on Wednesday night, a 14-5 Tigers run over the final 4:30 sealed the game, a 69-61 loss for Tech.

The Hokies (5-1) stuck close to the Tigers (5-0) throughout the first half, led by solid three-point shooting. Tech was only 38% from the floor, but five-of-nine from deep kept it close. In the second half, though, VT was just 2-of-12 from behind the arc and 31% from the field.

Memphis’s length and athleticism was too much, however. Mike Young’s depth was limited – David N’Guessan and John Ojiako played just four minutes – and Hunter Cattoor, Nahiem Alleyne and Keve Aluma got in foul trouble.

Alleyne led Tech with a game-high 21 points (4-14 FG, 3-7 3FG). Ten of his points came from the free throw line, where he was 10-of-11. Aluma was the only other Hokie in double figures with 14 points (5-17 FG, 1-3 3FG, 3-4 FT), and he had his first double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.

Though Justyn Mutts only had seven points, he was physical on the boards, finishing with 12 rebounds.

Memphis was led by DeAndre Williams and his 16 points (6-10 FG, 1-1 3FG, 3-3 FT) and 10 rebounds. It was a wide spread of scoring for the Tigers, who had ten different players record a point. Emoni Bates (9 pts, 2-10 FG) and Jalen Duren (6 pts, 3-7 FG) did not have their best outing, but Malcolm Dandridge added eight points (4-6 FG) off the bench for the Tigers.

Box Score: Link

Next: Xavier

In the third-place game of the NIT Tip-Off, Virginia Tech faces No. 25 Xavier (4-1) on Friday night. The game will tip at 7 p.m. ET from the Barclays Center and be televised on ESPNU.

The Hokies are 4-9 all-time against the Musketeers and haven’t met since Nov. of 2008, when Xavier beat Tech 63-62 in overtime in Puerto Rico. 

After defeating then-No. 18 Ohio State 71-65 on Nov. 18, Xavier fell to Iowa State, 82-70, in the first game of the doubleheader in Brooklyn on Thursday. Jack Nunge led the Musketeers with 24 points (9-11 FG, 1-3 3FG, 5-6 FT) and four rebounds.

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15 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I too was concerned with officiating whereby the thuggish play should have resulted in more fouls and THAT would have quieted them down. But I don’t think that is why we lost. They came in fired up, they knew we were a step up from their earlier games. We were not ready to match their intensity. If they had hit their 3’s better we’d been in bigger trouble. Good game to grow from. They were a dirty loquacious team and just like da U in FB you have to out tough them and then they will quit. How we come out tonight could show a lot about us.

  2. Our guys were in the right place taking the right shots- shots just weren’t going down.
    The video ESPN is featuring “Jalen Duren denies Keve Aluma’s dunk” is not really a good play by Duren as much as it is an example of the refs letting tackle basketball ensue.

  3. Great effort by an outmanned Hokie team. Our point guard looked like a boy among men in that game. All in all, Memphis was in a different talent league but dogged and rugged effort by our guys. A.H.

    1. uhh…our point was doubled all night and didn’t get much help from the rest of his team. Their point is 6’9″ with a 7’4″ wingspan. As has been mentioned, when you are playing bigger, stronger, longer defenses that slap and push with little response from refs you must hit your shots.

      Way too much being made of Storm not being ACC caliber. Try taking a critical look at his running mates at 2 and 3 spots. No help when he needed it.

  4. No mention of taking the lead by 1 with about 4;30 left in the game, but, as mentioned, the shooting was dreadful after that so no way to win.

    1. Easy for you to say…Keve had 12 rebounds and played hard. He simply is not what he is built up to be. If we had a natural center, Aluma would be a power forward where he would have more room in space and be more successful.

      He does not finish strong against most longer opponents because he can’t jump high enough to do it…just a fact. He goes heavy to the basket and comes away with a face full of fists most often.

  5. I believe for this Hokie team to make a run in the ACC and NCAA tournament, the bench of Maddox, Ojiako, N’Guessen, Pedulla & Kidd must consume more minutes. They can all play and must play decently to rest the starters. The starting 5 are good but not able to sustain 30+’ vs better competition.

  6. I like the comment the announcer made about Nolley when he said he would play every minute at Tech and be ‘the man” and with the transfer to Memphis he’s getting limited minutes and is “just a guy”.

  7. I wonder why N’Guessan and Ojiako were limited to 4′ each, given that they are our tallest players and CMY has been high on both. As for Memphis, despite starting, VT-transfer, Landers Nolley accounted for a mere 5 pts. and 3 ‘bounds in 20′ of play. Nine (9) Memphis players were in double-figures for mins. played, all but 15. By comparison, six (6) Hokies accounted but 9’. Memphis was deeper than us but is also probably has more quality depth than most teams we’ll play. Still, we’re going to have to get more mins. from both N’Gueesan and Ojiako going forward. Outside shooting alone isn’t going to be enough to compete at the level to match our ambitions.

    1. Remember 2 of the Memphis starters were benched for a large part of the first half with 2 fouls. That increased minutes for others. The extra minutes Mutts and Aluma are getting will limit the minutes for N’Gueesan and Ojiako. That is how it is when the competition gets better.

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