Who needs football?
The Virginia Tech Hokies improved to 2-0 on the season after Saturday evening’s 81-73 upset win over No. 3 Villanova in “Bubbleville.”
The game, which was originally supposed to be Temple against the Hokies, was put together around 1:45 a.m. Friday morning after both teams were both looking to add another game. Both schools had games canceled due to Temple’s issues with COVID-19.
The first half was full of lead changes, as the Hokies looked every bit of Villanova’s equal on the court. The two teams entered halftime tied at 29.
However, the second half looked like the Wildcats may run away with the win.
Mike Young’s Hokies remained resilient, though.
After going down 12 points, Tech scrapped back, in part due to the play of 6-foot-9 junior Keve Aluma. The transfer from Wofford led the Hokies with 23 points and chipped in with nine rebounds.
Virginia Tech’s dominance on the boards was a big factor in the win. The Hokies out-rebounded ‘Nova 39-31, with sophomore guard Tyrece Radford leading the way with 13 board. Radford also finished with eight points and a team-leading five assists.
The Hokies, playing without guard Jalen Cone again, shot 50 percent from three-point range, connecting on 10 of 20 attempts. Sophomore guard Nahiem Alleyne scored 20 points off the bench and was four of six from beyond the arc.
The Hokies took the lead, converting on a three-point play and led by two points with just 1.3 seconds remaining. However, a blocking foul was called on the inbounds pass and the Wildcats went to the line and made both attempts, sending the game into overtime.
The Hokies dominated the overtime period en route to an impressive victory for Young’s squad.
For the second straight year, this is a massive November win for the Hokies. Last year, Michigan State was the victim.
This Virginia Tech team is different. The young guards are all a year older, while the additions of Aluma, Justyn Mutts, Joe Bamisile and Cartier Diarra completely change the dynamic of this team.
The Hokies face South Florida on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. ET.