BLACKSBURG – Landers Nolley II scored 18 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 73-46 non-conference victory over Gardner-Webb on Sunday at Carilion Clinic Court.
With the win, the Hokies moved to 8-3 on the season and won their second consecutive game. Gardner-Webb fell to 3-8.
Nolley hit 6 of 14 from the floor for the Hokies, who extended their home-court nonconference winning streak to 30 games. Nolley, who had made just one 3-pointer combined over the previous two games, snapped out of his slump, connecting on five 3-pointers.
The Hokies scored a season-low 63 points and shot just 39% in a victory over Chattanooga on Wednesday. They only made 6 of 21 from beyond the 3-point arc in that one.
But Nolley nearly made that many Sunday, and the Hokies hit 13 3-pointers against the Runnin’ Bulldogs, who lost their third consecutive game.
The Hokies, who never trailed, shot 48% (12 of 25) in the first half in building a 34-24 halftime advantage and then exploded to start the second half. Virginia Tech opened the final 20 minutes with a 16-4 run, pushing a 10-point lead to 50-28 after Nolley’s long jumper from the top of the key with 12:09 remaining.
Nolley also hit two 3-pointers in that span, while Gardner-Webb made just 1 of its first
12 shots to start the second half.
Jaheam Cornwall led the Runnin’ Bulldogs with 14 points. Gardner-Webb shot a season-low 29.1% (16 of 55).
QUOTES TO NOTE
Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young
(On the difference in 3-point shooting today than Wednesday night)
“I thought Gardner-Webb did a pretty good job of guarding us. I thought we turned down a couple of good ones (shots) for great ones … We just happened to crank it a little better today. I don’t think there’s anything I’m going to see on film that I can point to and say, ‘There it is.’ We just shot better.”
(On whether he liked the Hokies’ energy level)
“Yes, a ‘B’. Should be an ‘A’ every time out. They play hard. They want to do the right things, but I thought it’s been pretty darn good throughout. But that’s the price of admission. You’ve got to play your guts out and fight and scrap. All in all, I’ve told you before, becoming a better and better practice team. We still get down on ourselves after a missed shot. Not moped, but not as engaged and fired up as I’d like to see us on that next defensive possession. But we’re getting better.”
Virginia Tech forward Landers Nolley II
(On what was said at halftime that sparked the second-half run)
“Halftime, we’ve just got to pick it up. We were up 10 and he (Young) said we should have been up 20. When he says stuff like that, you don’t want to let him down. You want to get up by 20, so he can say we should be up by 30. Fire just gets lit under you and you just want to play harder and blow them out and get the other guys in the game.”
(On what the Hokies did during that run)
“I feel like we started talking more. Everybody got involved on the defensive end. Everybody started to enjoy getting more stops, and once you get more stops, you get to play offense more. You play offense more, you get more shots and more points. That’s how we roll.”
• The Hokies’ 34 bench points were their second-most of the season – they scored 49 in the victory over Delaware State.
• Isaiah Wilkins scored 13 points, which marked just the second time this season in which he has been in double figures. He scored 15 in the Hokies’ win over Delaware State.
• The Hokies’ 13 3-pointers tied for their third-most in a game this season.
• Hunter Cattoor scored 11 points, reaching double figures for the fourth time this season.
• Wabissa Bede handed out five assists and now has handed out at least five in all 11 games this season.
• Tyrece Radford recorded the first double-double of his career, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The 10 rebounds were one short of his career high (11 vs. Lehigh).
The Hokies return to the court Saturday when they play host to in-state foe VMI in a game that is scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m. and can be seen on ACC Network.
Top photo caption: BLACKSBURG, VA – DECEMBER 15: Virginia Tech Hokies guard Nahiem Alleyne (4) shoots a jump shot while being defended by Gardner Webb Runnin Bulldogs guard Christian Turner (4)during a college basketball game between the Garnder Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs and the Virginia Tech Hokies on December 11, 2019, at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, VA. (Photo by Brian Bishop/Pulaski Patriot)