Photo Credit: Liam Sment
Virginia Tech kept their strong start to the season going Saturday with a dominant 97-57 victory against Coppin State that improves their record to 6-1 ahead of what should be their second stint in the top 25.
The key to this win was their stellar performance from three, as the team made 20 shots from behind the arc, shooting over 50% from three-point range in the process. This was a significant improvement from some of their recent struggles and hopefully a good sign of what's to come for the Hokies.
The first half was much more competitive than many would’ve expected. The team gave up six turnovers and started 0-6 from range.
The Hokies began to pick up some steam and pull away from Coppin State following an 8-0 run in the middle of the first half. This began a 31-12 Hokies scoring run that ended the half.
Despite the slow start, the team headed into halftime up 17 after making eight of their last twelve three point attempts. Nahiem Alleyne led the team with 11 points at the break.
Virginia Tech shot two free throws to open the second half as a result of a technical foul called on Coppin State Head Coach Juan Dixon during the break. That was the first of three total technical fouls from the Eagles in the second half.
From that point on, it was all Hokies. Virginia Tech outscored the Eagles 58-35 in the second half, that point total being aided by twelve makes from range.
As the Hokies' lead grew to the point where it was seemingly insurmountable for Coppin State, Virginia Tech gave some of their young freshmen some playing time.
Freshmen David N’Guessan, Joe Bamisile, and Darius Maddox all received minutes and they took advantage. Bamisile and Maddox each tallied nine points, while N’Guessan added four to the team’s total.
Bamisile and Maddox have received limited playing time so far this season, but head coach Mike Young made it clear that he's been pleased with what he's seen to date including in this game.
“I feel strong opinions about (Joe) Bamisile and (Darius) Maddox,” Mike Young said after the game.
Young also emphasized how important it was to get his younger players some playing time and “let them reap the fruits of their labor.”
As for how his team will fare as they hit the road for some big games in a few weeks, Young admitted “Time will tell.”
Virginia Tech looks to improve it’s record to 7-1 as it hosts Longwood Monday night at 8PM on the ACC Network.