Photo Credit: ACC Media/Virginia Tech Athletics
It has been a tumultuous few days for Virginia Tech with their upset loss at Syracuse followed by the stunning news of Tyrece Radford being indefinitely suspension due to a weekend arrest. However, the Hokies went on the road to Notre Dame and bounced back in a big way at Notre Dame showing that the sky is not falling on this season for Tech.
#20 Virginia Tech beat Notre Dame to improve to 12-3 on the season including 6-2 in ACC play while the Fighting Irish fell to 5-9 overall including 2-6 in ACC play.
Tech may not have had Tyrece Radford, but they collectively stepped up on the glass winning the rebounding battle 46-36 including an 8-4 offensive rebound advantage that became a 7-4 second chance points advantage. Tech's defense was big as well as the Hokies held Notre Dame to 35.7% from the field and an even weaker 16.7% (3-18) from three-point range.
Tech also only had 10 turnovers compared to 12 for Notre Dame and took advantage with a 10-4 points off turnovers advantage. One area where Tech will look to improve is from the free-throw line as they went 5-12 from the line with non-Keve Aluma Hokies going 1-8.
It all starts with the frontcourt and star center Keve Aluma who broke out of his offensive slump with 14 points on 5-10 shooting from the field plus 4-4 at the free-throw line. Additionally, Aluma was one of two Hokies with double-doubles finishing with 12 rebounds to go with those 14 points and 3 blocks as Aluma reminded everyone that he still is one of the best bigs in the ACC.
Justyn Mutts also had a big game with 14 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks while shooting 7-14 from the field as he was effective in just about every aspect of this game.
The duo and Tech's collective defensive effort did a great job of shutting down Notre Dame's star big man Nate Laszewski who was held to only 7 points on 3-4 shooting as Tech did a great job at limiting his opportunities.
Nahiem Alleyne had one of his best games of this season with 15 points on 7-14 shooting including 1-3 from three plus 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Meanwhile, Hunter Cattoor had 13 points on 4-7 shooting from three plus 3 rebounds and 3 steals as the sophomore duo of guards both continue to show great growth and emerge as high-level ACC players leading a Tech backcourt that has lost Radford and Cartier Diarra this season.
We will have more as this story develops.