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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies roll over Radford to move to 3-0

Virginia Tech’s defense has been outstanding through three games.

NCAA Basketball: Maine at Virginia Tech Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies hosted the Radford Highlanders on Monday night in Blacksburg in what was a special game for several reasons. First, anytime the schools representing the New River Valley meet on the hardwood, it’s a fun time.

Then, you have Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young — a Radford native, facing Radford head coach Darris Nichols — a Radford native. Nichols’ top assistant, his brother Shane, played and coached under Young at Wofford.

Oh, and it was Young’s 600th game as a head coach.

Ok, now let’s get to the action.

After a sloppy first half, the Hokies went into halftime with only a 25-18 lead.

The Hokies took over in the second half, jumping out to a 54-39 lead, followed by an 11-0 run that made it 65-39 — which would be the final score. In this game, it was all about Virginia Tech’s defense. The Highlanders shot just 28% from the field and made only two of their 24 3-point attempts. Tech also outrebounded Radford, 41-32.

Senior guard Storm Murphy had his best game as a Hokie, scoring a season-high 17 points. Forward Justyn Mutts scored 11 points, and eight rebounds, and Keve Aluma scored 10 points. Junior guard Hunter Cattoor didn’t have his best shooting night but scored seven points and pulled down an impressive nine rebounds.

The Hokies improve to 3-0 on the season and host St. Francis (Pa.) on Thursday.