• David Cunningham

Virginia Tech Blows Out Coppin State 97-57

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Just like previous games, it took Virginia Tech a few minutes to find its groove. Once the Hokies did that, though, it was game over.


At the under-12 media timeout in the first half, Tech led Coppin State by just four points, 13-9. The Eagles had held the Hokies to 5-13 from the field through the first eight minutes, and Tech was 1-7 from behind the arc.


Suddenly, the floodgates opened. After starting 0-6 from three, Mike Young & Co. proceeded to make 20 of 31 three-pointers.


Once Tech couldn’t miss, Coppin State couldn’t hang, and the Hokies ran away with the 97-57 victory.


“Everyone got into their rhythm tonight,” Virginia Tech guard Jalen Cone said. “Our guys were knocking down their shots, which created a domino effect for the rest of the team. Nahiem Alleyne started the game on fire, which carried on to the rest of the team.”


Cone and Alleyne each scored 18 points and knocked down five triples to lead the way for Tech.

It wasn’t just those two, though. Eight different Hokies hit at least three-pointer on Saturday night - Keve Aluma (2-2), Darius Maddox (3-3), Hunter Cattoor (2-3), Joe Bamisile (1-2), Justyn Mutts (1-3) and Tyrece Radford (1-1).


It’s only the second time that Tech has had eight players make a three since joining the ACC, with the first occurrence coming in the Hokies’ 99-73 win over Houston Baptist in November of 2017.


“We really needed to get Jalen Cone going and I’m happy we were able to do so,” Tech head coach Mike Young said. “Our team needed to see some things go in the basket. I don’t think it’s anything deep seeded with what we’re doing offensively. Clemson is pretty darn good on that end, as is Penn State. Just some opportunities that we haven’t had in the last couple of weeks.”


The Hokies’ lead swelled to 17 by halftime and reached 49 with two minutes left in the second half when Young cleared his bench and gave time to walk-ons Gill Williamson and Grant Yates. Freshmen Bamisile and Maddox also saw nine minutes each, which helped give a bit of a rest to Tech’s starters.


Virginia Tech did everything right against the Eagles, from shooting 52% from the floor and 54% from behind the arc to attempting 24 free throws and out-rebounding Coppin State 43-29. Maybe the most impressive statistic, though, is that the Hokies had 20 assists, a season-high, off 30 made baskets.


“I’m always encouraged when we had 30 made field goals and 20 of those were preceded by an assist – an unselfish play,” Young said. “That’s encouraging. ... That’s the game - unselfish people willing to make the right play - and this team certainly exhibits that day in and day out.”


Cattoor and Wabissa Bede each dished out five assists, while Cone added four. Aluma and Alleyne also contributed with two apiece.


Saturday was the second straight game for Tech with four scorers in double figures, as Aluma (12 points) and Cattoor (11) followed up the 36 combined points from Cone and Alleyne. Ten of the 13 Hokies that played against the Eagles scored.


Moreover, the Hokies’ bench outscored Tech’s starters 51-46, though the starters played a combined 35 fewer minutes on Saturday than against Clemson on Tuesday. Radford played 21 fewer minutes vs. Coppin State while Bede played 14 fewer.


The bench came to play, though, and the Hokies’ win was never in doubt in the last 25 minutes of the game, despite Tech turning the ball over 18 times.


“I don’t think you can turn the ball over and expect to be really successful,” Young said. “It’s an emphasis. We’re aware of it. My team is aware of it. ... We’ll get it ironed out. I feel very confident.”


Virginia Tech (6-1, 1-0 ACC) returns to action on Monday at 8 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum against Longwood (1-6, 0-2 Big South).


Photo Credit: Virginia Tech athletics

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