In its second outing this season, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team pulled off the upset against No. 3/3 Villanova 81-73 in overtime on Saturday night in the Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.
The Hokies (2-0) thriller over the Wildcats (2-1) marks the second straight season Tech has defeated the AP’s third-ranked team in the nation (No. 3 Michigan State in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, Nov. 25, 2019).
Tech saw major performances from forward Keve Aluma, as he recorded his career high in points with 23 and also grabbed eight rebounds. Sophomore Nahiem Alleyne tallied a season-high 20 points on 7 for 12 from the field. Guard Tyrece Radford put together an all-around performance as he collected eight points, 13 rebounds and dished out five assists.
As a team, the Hokies shot lights out going 47% from the field and 50% from downtown. Tech hit 10 triples, which marks the 18th time the Hokies have made double-digit 3-pointers under Mike Young.
In the paint, Tech outscored the Wildcats 32-22 and outrebounded ‘Nova 40-31. The Hokies also had strong performances off the bench and outscored the Wildcats 25-8.
Trailing 8-7 early on in the first, sophomore Alleyne came off the bench and hit a 3 followed by a finish down low from forward Aluma to give Tech a 12-8 lead. With just under five minutes to go in the first graduate student Cartier Diarra completed the fast break layup to give the Hokies the 25-19 advantage. The Wildcats closed the gap late and went into the break tied 29-29 with the Hokies.
Alleyne continued to perform at the start of the second as he came out and hit a triple to put the Hokies up 34-31. Knotted at 38-38 the Wildcats went on an 11-0 spurt sparked by Gillespie to give Villanova a 49-38 advantage. The Hokies would storm back from down 60-56 Bede would drill a 3-pointer followed by Aluma’s three-point-play to put Tech up 64-62. The Wildcats would hit two free throws to send the contest to overtime. It was all Hokies from that point on, as Justyn Mutts set the tone with five straight points in OT to give Tech the momentum the rest of the way to win 81-73.