BLACKSBURG — Landers Nolley II had another impressive game for the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team Saturday. But he was not the only redshirt freshman who shined for the Hokies.

Nolley scored 29 points and Tyrece Radford added a career-high 18 points to help the Hokies beat North Carolina State 72-58 at Cassell Coliseum.

“We just compete as brothers and we just get the job done,” Nolley said of his team, which fell behind 10-0 in the game. “No matter how slow we start, we always finish strong.”



The Hokies, who were picked next-to-last in the ACC’s preseason media poll, improved to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in the ACC.

Is Tech coach Mike Young shocked by his team’s ACC record?

“No,” Young said. “Never underestimate young people.

“There is a great deal of belief in that locker room. There’s a great deal of camaraderie in that locker room that enjoys … seeing one another succeed. And when you couple that with a team that wants to share and play the right way and doesn’t care who gets the credit, … you can take down a lot of things.

“So no, I’m not surprised, not at all. I’ve got good players.”

The Wolfpack (11-5, 2-3) trailed the entire second half.

Nolley was one point shy of his career high. He tied a 29-point outing by Nickeil Alexander-Walker in a November 2017 win over The Citadel for the fifth-most prolific outing by a freshman in Tech history.

“He’s a great scorer. We tried everything we could,” said State forward DJ Funderburk, who had 18 points and nine rebounds.

Nolley, who entered the game averaging 17.1 points, scored 18 in the first half to help Tech build a 40-33 halftime lead.

“They switch a lot, so it just created openings and gaps for me to get my shot off,” Nolley said.

The 6-foot-7 forward was 8 of 19 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. He had career highs in free throws made (nine) and attempted (10).

“We thought … we were going to be able to get him to the basket, get him fouled,” Young said. “He’s a tough match for [State guard] Braxton Beverly because of size. He’s a tough match for [Manny] Bates and Funderburk because of his ability to bounce it.”

Radford, who entered the game averaging 7.8 points, hurt State by driving to the basket. The 6-1 guard’s 18-point outing Saturday was just the fifth time he scored in double figures this season.

“He’s just so aggressive,” Young said. “That better be a man that’s 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.”

Radford was 8 of 11 from the field.

“My mentality tonight was basically, ‘Keep going until somebody stops you,’” Radford said. “They obviously didn’t stop me going to the goal.”

Radford also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

Tech freshman reserve Jalen Cone had 10 points, while Wabissa Bede dished out seven assists.

State guard C.J. Bryce, who is the Wolfpack’s top scorer and rebounder this season, missed his fourth straight game. He is in the concussion protocol.

Wolfpack point guard Markell Johnson, who usually was guarded by Bede, was held to five points — nine below his average. He was 2 of 14 from the field.

State shot only 31.9% from the field. The Wolfpack attempted a season-high 30 3-pointers but made only six of them.

N.C. State jumped to a 10-0 lead with 16:23 left in the first half. Tech was 0 of 5 from the field at that point.

“Of all the starts that I had envisioned, … that was not it. Holy smokes,” Young said. “We were terrible. But they got it together.”

The Hokies answered with a 13-0 run to grab a 13-10 lead. Nolley had eight points in the run.

FG FT Reb

NC STATE M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

M.Johnson 39 2-14 0-0 0-7 9 1 5

Hellems 36 2-14 0-0 2-6 1 3 6

Daniels 29 3-9 1-2 2-7 2 2 7

Andree 28 3-8 3-4 2-7 0 2 11

Funderburk 25 7-13 4-5 4-9 0 2 18

Beverly 23 2-7 0-0 0-1 3 4 5

Bates 20 3-4 0-1 0-3 0 2 6

Totals 200 22-69 8-12 10-40 15 16 58

Percentages: FG .319, FT .667. 3-Point Goals: 6-30, .200 (Andree 2-6, Hellems 2-7, Beverly 1-6, M.Johnson 1-7, Funderburk 0-1, Daniels 0-3). Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: None. Blocked Shots: 5 (Daniels 3, Bates 2). Turnovers: 9 (M.Johnson 5, Daniels 2, Funderburk 2). Steals: 4 (M.Johnson 2, Bates, Daniels).

FG FT Reb

VA. TECH M M-A M-A O-T A PF PT

Nolley 33 8-19 9-10 2-7 1 2 29

Horne 32 1-3 0-0 1-6 0 4 3

Radford 30 8-11 2-2 2-9 1 1 18

Bede 28 0-3 2-2 0-2 7 2 2

Alleyne 21 1-6 2-3 0-4 2 2 5

Cone 21 3-8 2-2 0-1 0 2 10

Cattoor 20 1-5 2-2 0-4 2 0 5

Ojiako 8 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Wilkins 7 0-4 0-0 1-3 0 1 0

Totals 200 22-59 19-21 6-37 13 14 72

Percentages: FG .373, FT .905. 3-Point Goals: 9-22, .409 (Nolley 4-7, Cone 2-4, Alleyne 1-1, Horne 1-2, Cattoor 1-4, Wilkins 0-1, Bede 0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 1. Blocked Shots: 3 (Radford 2, Ojiako). Turnovers: 7 (Nolley 3, Bede 2, Horne, Ojiako). Steals: 6 (Bede 2, Cattoor, Horne, Nolley, Ojiako).

NC State 33 25 — 58

Virginia Tech 40 32 — 72

A—9,275 (10,052).

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