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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies escape with close win over UT-Chattanooga at home

It wasn’t easy, but the Hokies improve to 7-3.

2019 Maui Invitational - Virginia Tech v BYU
Virginia Tech star Landers Nolley II
Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

The Virginia Tech Hokies improved to 7-3 on the season Wednesday night with a 63-58 win over UT-Chattanooga in Blacksburg. Freshman guard Nahiem Alleyne led the Hokies with 22 points.

Virginia Tech led this game at halftime 32-28 but the Mocs came out in the second half and controlled the action. At one point, UT-Chattanooga had a 51-47 lead with less than five minutes remaining and things looked bleak in Blacksburg.

Finally, Tech’s offense came back to life and the Hokies went on a 9-0 run to take a 56-51 lead late. Junior guard Wabissa Bede connected on a clutch three-point shot with just over one minute remaining to pad Tech’s lead to six and the Hokies never looked back.

One of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation, the Hokies struggled from beyond the arc for much of the game. Tech hit just six of 21 from three-point range, before connecting on two late to clinch this win and end a frustrating three-game losing streak.

Defensively, the Hokies did an outstanding job on UT-Chattanooga leading scorer, Matt Ryan. Ryan entered the game averaging 15 points per game, but was held to just two points. He was one of seven from the field and missed all six of his three-point attempts.

Freshman Landers Nolley II didn’t have his best shooting night, hitting just seven of his 20 attempts, but, as usual, made some important buckets late and finished with 19 points. Nolley is a special player.

Bede quietly had another strong performance. While he finished with just seven points, he also led the Hokies with eight rebounds and seven assists. He hit the aforementioned clutch three late and had just two turnovers.

This was an ugly win but in March no one looks back and remembers anything but the win. That’s important for a young team and head coach Mike Young. The Hokies were having a tough night, yet still managed to do enough to pull out a win.

The Hokies have three more games in December, all at Cassell Coliseum, before traveling to Charlottesville for a battle the defending national champions on January 4. Tech’s next contest is against Gardner-Webb on Sunday at 1:30 PM.