Before the season, this showdown between Virginia Tech and St Bonaventure was circled by many especially myself as one to watch in non-conference play for the Hokies. The Bonnies are as old of a team at the top as there is in America and have the talent and coaching to win the Atlantic 10 again and make a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Even if the Hokies hadn't been struggling lately, no one would have been able to imagine that Tech would be able to send a statement like they were today against the Bonnies and pick up a critical quality win in non-conference play.
Virginia Tech beat St. Bonaventure 86-49 to improve to 8-4 on the season while the Bonnies fell to 8-3. This is a massive non-conference win for the Hokies that will go right to the top of their resume with the rout also certainly boosting their NET ranking and other analytics as well.
Tech was simply dominant on both ends of the floor as they shot the ball quite well making 54.9% of their shots including 13-28 from three-point range though 14 turnovers will be something that can be improved upon. The defense was even better with the Bonnies shooting a meager 33.3% from the field including 6-23 from three with 20 turnovers which Tech turned in 16 points.
Storm Murphy has struggled a lot, but this was his best game of his Hokie career to date with 18 points on 7-10 shooting including 4-7 from three while also adding 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and only 1 turnover. This may have been the game that Murphy needed to find his form for the Hokies against high level competition which would be perfect timing with a trip to Duke up next in five days.
Hunter Cattoor had a big game as well leading the Hokies with 21 points on 6-7 shooting including 5-5 from three and 4-5 from the free-throw line while adding 5 rebounds, 1 steal, and only 1 turnover. Cattoor continues to be Tech's best guard so far this season and backed it up with another big game today.
Keve Aluma didn't have his best shooting day but found plenty of ways to contribute with 12 points on 5-11 shooting plus 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks with Aluma leading Tech in assists, blocks, and steals today. Nahiem Alleyne did plenty well but his shooting funk continued as he had 9 points on 3-10 shooting including 2-8 from three while Justyn Mutts had 2 points on only 1 shot plus a team high 7 rebounds along with 2 assists and 2 steals.
Darius Maddox led the Hokies' bench with 8 points on 2-4 shooting and 3-4 from the line plus 2 rebounds and 1 assist while Sean Pedulla had 5 points and 2 assists as Tech's top backup guards continue to play well though Pedulla did foul out. David N'Guessan had 3 points and 6 rebounds in only 15 minutes as he continues to be a dominant rebounder while John Ojiako went 5-6 from the line plus 2 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Jalen Haynes had 3 points and a rebound while Lynn Kidd had a block, and Camden Johnson and Ben Varga both made appearances.
This was Virginia Tech's best performance of the season by far and is a massive boost to their resume that was needing a leading victory that would age well which this one should given the talent of the Bonnies. This game showed how high the ceiling of the Hokies can be and may be proof that Tech's toughest non-conference schedule in recent memory should provide more benefit in the long term for the Hokies' level of play.
This was a must win game for the Hokies and they certainly played like it and then some tonight.