Radford and Nolley lead Tech past NC State
Landers Nolley II scored 29 points and Tyrece Radford added a career-high 18 to lead Virginia Tech to a 72-58 victory over NC State in an ACC game played Saturday at Carilion Clinic Court.
With the victory, the Hokies moved to 12-4 overall, 3-2 in the ACC. NC State fell to 11-5, 2-3 in league action.
Nolley hit 8 of 19 from the floor for the Hokies, who won their second straight game after a 26-point loss to rival Virginia on Jan. 4. Nolley drilled four 3-pointers and hit 9 of 10 from the free-throw line en route to his second-highest scoring game this season.
Radford hit 8 of 11 from the floor and grabbed nine rebounds.
Virginia Tech fell behind 10-0 to start the game after the Wolfpack hit four of their first seven shots. But following a timeout, the Hokies answered with a 13-0 run and never trailed again. Nolley hit two 3-pointers in that run, including one with 13:23 left in the half that gave the Hokies their first and last lead.
Virginia Tech led by 40-33 at halftime, and NC State cut the lead to one in the second half on dunk by Funderburk with 12:07 remaining. But a Radford layup pushed the lead to 48-45 with 11:41 remaining and a breakaway dunk by Nolley gave the Hokies a 50-45 advantage with 9:56 to go.
Radford and Nolley put the game away three minutes later, combining to score eight points in an 11-0 Virginia Tech run that gave the Hokies a 66-52 lead – their biggest of the game.
DJ Funderburk led the Wolfpack with 18 points. NC State finished with season lows in points and shooting percentage (31.9%, 22 of 69). The Wolfpack made just six of their 30 3-point attempts.
QUOTES TO NOTE
Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young
(On being surprised at his team's start to conference play)
"I'm not shocked. Are you kidding me? Never underestimated young people. Don't. I'm not. Never have. There is a great deal of belief in that locker room. There is a great deal of camaraderie in that locker room that enjoys one another's company and enjoys seeing one another succeed. When you couple that with a team that shares and wants to play the right way and doesn't care who gets the credit and just wants to win the game, well you can take down a lot of things, and they're doing that. They have done that, and will we hope will continue to do that. So no, I'm not surprised. Not at all. I've got good players. I have good basketball players."
(On the play of Tyrece Radford)
"He's just so aggressive. He's just such a strange matchup. That better be a man guarding him because he's going to lower his head and he's going to get places that quite a few people can't get to. He's got a nice touch around the basket. He does a nice job of getting fouled for us. He's quickly becoming, and has here for a couple of weeks now, someone that affects winning, and it's hard to take him off the floor. I think he played 30 today. He's a very responsible defender and he's going to rebound on both ends. He's not just an elite offensive rebounder. He helps our team on the defensive end every bit as much."
(On Tech's slow start to the game)
"Of all the starts that I had envisioned and had conjured up in the lead-up, that was not it. Holy smokes! We were moving pretty well, but I just saw a hitch in our step there and called timeout. It's not typical of me. We had just shot around this morning at 9 and went through everything yet again. I don't know exactly what I'm going to tell them, but I thought we needed to recalibrate some things and hit the reset button, and then we rattled off 13. We got the ship righted and we were in pretty good shape from point on, but I don't have an answer other than we were terrible, but they got it together, not a minute too soon."
• Tech went 19 of 21 from the free-throw line, setting a season high in makes. The Hokies' 90.5 free-throw percentage was their best in a game this season.
• Tech made nine 3-pointers and has made at least nine in 11 of 16 games this season.
• Radford's 18 points surpassed his previous career high of 13, which came in Tech's win over Maryland Eastern Shore on Dec. 29.
• Radford's eight field goals also were a career high (6 vs. Duke).
• Radford has grabbed at least eight rebounds in nine games this season.
• Nolley set career highs in free throws (9) and free-throw attempts (10).
• Nolley has scored at least 20 points in six games this season.
• Wabissa Bede's seven assists give him 100 for the season.
• Bede has handed out at least five assists in 14 of 16 games this season.
The Hokies return to the court Tuesday when they play Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The game tips at 9 p.m. and can be seen on the ACC Network.