Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech upsets No. 3 Michigan State, advances to Maui Invitational semifinal

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Virginia Tech upsets No. 3 Michigan State, advances to Maui Invitational semifinal

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- Landers Nolley II hit a big 3-pointer in the final minute and scored 22 points, helping Virginia Tech hold off No. 3 Michigan State 71-66 at the Maui Invitational on Monday.

The teams grinded through a back-and-forth second half with cheers for both sides echoing off the Lahaina Civic Center rafters.

The Hokies (6-0) -- projected 14th out of 15 Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the league's preseason poll -- went up 10 with 4 minutes left, but Michigan State fought back within one.

Nolley responded with a 3 for a 68-64 lead with 47 seconds left and Virginia Tech made enough free throws down the stretch to earn the marquee win in coach Mike Young's first season.

Michigan State (3-2) trailed 32-28 at halftime after preseason All-American Cassius Winston was limited to eight minutes due to two fouls.

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Hokies sink record 21 3-pointers in win over Delaware State

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Hokies sink record 21 3-pointers in win over Delaware State

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young offered a simple explanation for his team’s record-setting performance Wednesday.

“All coaching,” he said, jokingly. “All coaching."

Nahiem Alleyne scored 20 points and the Hokies hit a school-record 21 3-pointers en route to an easy 100-64 victory over Delaware State on Wednesday.

Alleyne hit 7 of 11 from the floor, including five 3-pointers, and Jalen Cone added 17 points to help the Hokies (5-0) extend their home nonconference winning streak to 28 consecutive games. The freshmen guards led a balanced Virginia Tech attack in which nine players scored – and seven of them hit at least one 3-pointer.

“This offense is built on making 3s, but also they want us to drive more and get to the paint and get to the foul line more,” Alleyne said. ???But if we’re open, we’re going to take it.”

John Crosby led Delaware State (0-5) with 19 points.

The Hornets jumped out to a 7-0 lead, hitting three of their first five shots from the floor. But the Hokies found their shooting stroke and scored the next 11 points, never trailing again. The Hokies hit eight 3-pointers in the first half in grabbing a 45-27 halftime lead, and then they blew the game wide open in the second half, hitting 13 3s and scoring 55 points.

“We have a number of kids that can shoot the ball,” Young said. “I empower them. When the leather hits your hands, let ’er rip. If you’re open and in rhythm, and it’s a practice shot … we have a number of kids that shoot the ball well. I didn’t think we took a bad shot. I thought they were rhythm shots and good shots.”

Virginia Tech also set an ACC record with its 21 3-pointers. The Hokies hit 21 of their 37 3-point attempts, with Alleyne, Cone and Isaiah Wilkins hitting five each. Virginia Tech shot a season-best 56.5% (35 of 62) from the floor.

“They shot the cover off the ball,” Delaware State head coach Eric Skeeters said. “You think you did a good job of guard and rotate and switch and getting out to them, and then ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ … They played like an ACC team to their credit.”

TIP-INS

Delaware State: The Hornets could have one of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's better players in Crosby, who transferred from Dayton and sat out last season. The senior, who has scored in double figures in every game, wasn't intimidated at playing against an ACC opponent and showed an ability to create his own shot. If he continues to play well, he could lead the Hornets to a better finish than many expect. They were picked to finish 10th in the 11-team MEAC.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies finally were able to get Wilkins going after a slow start to the season. Wilkins, one of their more experienced players, was shooting just 34.8% (24 of 69) and had made just two 3-pointers coming into the game, but he scored 15 points in what marked his best outing of the season by far.

HOKIES READY FOR STEP UP

Virginia Tech hasn’t played a Power 5 school since its season-opening win over Clemson, and two of its past four games have been against teams picked in the bottom half of the MEAC (Delaware State and Coppin State). But the young Hokies – with just one senior on the roster – take a serious step up on the competition ladder when they face No. 3 Michigan State on Monday in the first round of the Maui Invitational in Hawaii.

“We go out there with a good basketball team,” Young said. “We’re going to improve. It’ll be a far different scout, a far different prep than what we’re accustomed to. They’re unlike anything that we’ve played to this point, but the time has come. The time has come to play somebody really, really good. It will test everything we have done with them through this point in the season, and I look forward to seeing them compete again.”

UP NEXT

Delaware State: The Hornets play at East Tennessee State on Saturday.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies play No. 3 Michigan State in Hawaii as part of the Maui Invitational on Monday.

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Nolley, Hokies too much for USC Upstate in win

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Nolley, Hokies too much for USC Upstate in win

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Landers Nolley II scored 23 points to lift Virginia Tech to an 80-57 victory over USC Upstate on Wednesday.

Nolley connected on 8 of 14 from the floor to pace the Hokies (3-0), who shot 53.4% (31 of 58) and connected on 13 3-pointers. Jalen Cone added 11 points.

Nolley, a redshirt freshman, scored 14 of his 23 points in the second half. He now is averaging better than 21 points on the season.

"Your better players are going to get the majority of the shots," Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young said. "This isn't a democracy. This isn't we're all created equal. Those good ones, they love playing for me because we get them to where they want to be. . he's got a little more of a green light than the others. That's just the way it's going to be."

Everette Hammond led the Spartans (1-3) with 15 points.

Virginia Tech trailed early in the game, falling behind 16-11, but the Hokies' Nahiem Alleyne hit baskets on back-to-back possessions, including a 3-pointer, and he sparked a 20-4 run that gave Virginia Tech the lead for good.

Four different Hokies hit 3-pointers in that run. The Hokies shot 51.9% (14 of 27) in the first half and led 38-24 at halftime.

"Our defense is everything," Nolley said. "Our defense helps us go down to the other end and have good offense. So, we just feed off our defense, and that's what makes us run. That makes our team flow."

The Spartans, who missed all 15 of their 3-point attempts in the first 20 minutes, cut the lead to nine on two occasions in the second half -- the final time coming on two free throws by Hammond with 11:18 remaining. But the Hokies then went on a 10-0 run and ended any hopes of a comeback.

USC Upstate made just 3-of-25 3-point attempts.

"They made shots, and we didn't," USC Upstate coach Dave Dickerson said. "That's the bottom line. We were 3-for-25 from the 3-point line, and 23 of those were really, good shots that we've got to take, and we've got to be able to make. . they're a 3-point shooting team, and they made 13 tonight. We were not able to make any, and that was the difference in the game."

TIP-INS

USC Upstate: The Spartans, whose roster consists of 12 freshmen and sophomores, would do well to shoot fewer 3-pointers. They came into the game shooting 28.9% from beyond the arc and then missed their first 17 3-pointers against the Hokies. They'll need better shot selection if they want to improve on their six-win total from last year.

Virginia Tech: Cone, a freshman played his best game, coming off the bench to score 11 points hitting three 3-pointers. He and the Hokies' other freshman guard, Hunter Cattoor, combined for 20 points. Virginia Tech doesn't have a deep bench and will need to get more from both players going forward.

UP NEXT

USC Upstate: The Spartans returns to the court Monday at Akron.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies play at home against Lehigh on Saturday.

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