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#20 Virginia Tech Hokies Defeat Notre Dame Soundly: 62-51

The 20th ranked Hokies travelled to South Bend to take on a Notre Dame team that seems to be getting some traction, and was looking at an opportunity to grab a quality win against a ranked opponent. NOPE... Not this evening.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Notre Dame
Hokies controlled the inside and froze out the Irish from 3pt range
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Hokies showed up in South Bend a bit stunned and more than a bit sad at the situation that was presenting itself. They were down a starting Guard as the result of the Radford suspension. The were also playing with a short bench because Cordell Pemsl was out due to back problems. Well, it looks like we shouldn’t have worried that much. Nahiem Alleyne led the Hokies with 15 points and 9 boards. Both Justyn Mutts and Keve Aluma grabbed double-doubles. There was more good news because Hunter Cattoor dropped 13 in the bucket (Which could have been more if he could hit his free throws.) and a good deal of the remainder of the team contributed.

The Hokies pretty much led the lower scoring game from the tip off until the final buzzer. Every time the Irish would get something going, Tech would clear a defensive rebound and push the score back to double digits. If they weren’t scoring on offense, the Hokies were successful in challenging and putting a lid on the Irish 3pt game, and with Keve Aluma and David N’Guessan working inside, the Hokies were keeping the Irish from getting into any kind of rhythm.

Virginia Tech Hokie Basic Stats from the Notre Dame Game

Player Min Reb Ast Stl Blk Pts
Player Min Reb Ast Stl Blk Pts
Nahiem Alleyne 32 9 5 0 0 15
Justyn Mutts 33 11 3 0 3 14
Keve Aluma 31 12 0 1 3 14
Hunter Cattoor 24 3 1 3 0 13
Wabissa Bede 32 3 3 2 0 3
Jalen Cone 23 1 1 2 1 3
David N'Guessan 15 4 0 0 0 0
Joseph Bamisile 7 1 0 0 0 0
Darius Maddox 1 0 0 0 0 0
John Ojiako 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 46 13 8 7 62
Hokies scoring sorted by points scored Yahoo Sports

Standouts for the evening were Justyn Mutts who besides the double-double at 14 points and 11 boards managed 3 and Keve Aluma with another 14, and 12 boards with 3 blocks. It was Mutts’ best performance for the season, and it was good to see him inside and in control. Aluma looked like he had gotten back on track, and found his range again. Hunter Cattoor’s game came up a big notch, he was critical to the first half’s scoring and the second half’s defense and control of the flow of the game.

There is a part of every Hokie fan that would have liked to see a blowout bigger than the stout 11 point win, but given the circumstances, the adjustments, and playing away from home, the Hokies managed to get the cart back on to the tracks and protect their national ranking. One thing that is still a major concern, and is still an embarrassing statistic is that Tech is terrible from the charity stripe. The Hokies were a meager 5 for 12 from the free throw line, and in a tight game that 7 points could be a major difference. Mike Young has to get that cleaned up, it’s fundamental basketball and 7 free points were left on the floor.

It was a good warm-up, because January 30th the Wahoos show up in the Cassell, and the game is on. They are going to be surprised by this team.