The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team pulled off the upset against the third-ranked Villanova Wildcats 81-73 in overtime 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, and from sophomore Nahiem Alleyne, who scored 20 points on 7 for 12 shooting from the field. Guard Tyrece Radford put together an all-around performance as he collected eight points and 13 rebounds and dished out five assists.
As a team, the Hokies shot 47% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. Tech hit 10 triples, the 18th time the Hokies have made double-digit 3-pointers under Mike Young.
In the paint, Tech outscored the Wildcats from the bench, which outscored the Wildcats 25-8.
With the Hokies trailing 8-7 early in the first, sophomore Alleyne came off the bench and hit a three, 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 period, graduate student Cartier Diarra completed a fast break layup to give the Hokies the 25-19 advantage. The Wildcats closed the gap late and went into the break tied at 29.
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 senior Collin Gillespie to give Villanova a 49-38 advantage. The Hokies would storm back. They were down 60-56 when guard Wabissa Bede drilled a 3-pointer and Aluma followed with a three-point-play to put Tech up 64-62.
The Wildcats hit two free throws late 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 overtime to give Tech the momentum the rest of the way and an 81-73 win.
– Mike Young is now 2-0 against the AP’s third-ranked team in the nation (No. 3 Michigan State in the Maui Invitational).
– Redshirt sophomore Radford tied his career-high in rebounds with 13 against the Wildcats.
– Mutts registered his career also his career high at Tech.