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Virginia Tech Hokies Travel Together to Louisville - Both Teams Come Up Short

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As fortunes would have it, the Hokies Women’s basketball program wrapped up their regular seasons with a visit to Louisville. As the men played their third to the last game. The irony was that both teams lost by roughly the same amount. The games were different, and the outcomes of the seasons certainly will be, too.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Louisville
Tyrece Radford works for a shot
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Let us take the games in the order that they were played. The stats for the women’s basketball game are coming from Hokie Sports.

Hokie Women’s Basketball

The Hokies took to the court at Noon on March 1st. Things just weren’t clicking through the entire first three quarters. There were some really good performances, but the Hokies started out behind the power curve. By the end of the 1st half Tech had only scored 24. Meanwhile Louisville had put up 37 points. Thirteen points is a tremendous amount of ground to make up in the 2nd half of a game.

The second half, the Hokies came out at about the same effect level as the first, and the 3rd quarter ended up with the same point total as the 1st... 8... The Cardinals put in 16 to push the lead further out.

There was a bit of redemption in the 4th quarter when the Hokie offense woke up a bit and scored 21 points. Louisville didn’t need to put in many to keep out ahead of the furiously working Hokies, though. They managed 17 for the final frame of the game. The final score ended up being 53 - 70.

Hokie scoring was led by Elizabeth Kitley with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Taja Cole put in 12 points and grabbed an impressive 10 boards for a double-double to end the regular season. Trinity Baptiste contributed 10 points from the floor and 2 rebounds. The issue was that the remainder of the team just didn’t seem to be connecting from the floor. Even the usual downtown shot percentages from Dara Mabrey and Aisha Sheppard were just not falling. When those two struggle, the team just cannot complete the circuit to produce a win against a major program.

That was the tough news. The good news is that Hokie Women’s Basketball finished a solid 21-8 with a very good 11-7 ACC record. That was good enough for a 5th seed in the ACC Tournament which starts for the Hokies on March 5th against the winner of the North Carolina vs. Wake Forest game. The Hokies have a solid shot at grabbing a few wins, there, to improve their NCAA Tournament look for the selection committee.

Hokie Men’s Basketball

The men’s team didn’t fare much better than their school mates earlier in the day. It was a bit different game than the women’s where HokieWBB trailed the entire contest by a margin too large to overcome. The Men’s team actually got a reasonable start going for the game. Tech and Louisville were tied 27-27 at the end of the first half. I remember thinking, “yeah, we have a shot at this.” Well that didn’t last long in the second half. For whatever reason (There are folks blaming it on the calls from the refs and some replays make you wonder.) the Cardinals went on a 12-0 tear, and that pretty much sealed it for the Hokies. A tight game offered a real chance, trying to make up a 12 point deficit late in the game was just not in the cards.

The Hokies did have the same problem that the Women’s team had earlier in the afternoon, though. scoring production for the Hokies was just not what it needed to be from the starters. This time the bench really struggled at bringing more points to the board, too. The only bench player who made a significant point contribution was also a game leader for the Hokies. Jalen Cone is a high school senior, who graduated early, and is playing big league college ball when his peers are thinking about Prom and what cords to wear when they walk in June. Cone put up a 15 point effort on Sunday. He shot 50% from 3-point range. The other player in double figures usually doesn’t show up there. Nahiem Alleyne contributed a stout 12 points all of which were three pointers. The remainder of the team struggled to get into the high single digits. Landers Nolley II was kept quiet and in check with only 6 points.

All in all the Hokie Men’s offense just wasn’t scoring efficiently. They managed 38.0% from the floor in total. That was only 33.3% from 3-point range, and just 66.7% from the charity stripe. Those numbers just aren’t going to win a basketball game against a #10/11 team.

Virginia Tech Hokies Scoring vs. Louisville

Player Points Assists Rebounds
Player Points Assists Rebounds
J. Cone 15 1 1
N. Alleyne 12 1 3
T. Radford 8 3 9
L. Nolley II 6 1 1
P.J. Horne 5 0 2
Not enough points from enough players Yahoo Sports

The men’s team has two more games before the ACC Tournament starts. Clemson is coming to the Cassell on Wednesday March 4th for Senior Night. The tip off is at 7pm. Their last game is on the road as they travel to finish out the regular season against Notre Dame. Both games are winnable, but that means there needs to be more than two players producing points.

The Men’s ACC Tournament starts March 10th, and Tech is going to be seeded at the back door for that one.

It’s been an exciting and challenging regular season for both Hokie Basketball programs. The Women’s team has triumphed over last year’s struggles. The Men’s team is rebuilding and learning.

GO HOKIES!!!!