Maybe it’s time to start taking the unbeaten Virginia Tech Hokies seriously. The team picked up a signature win Monday night, knocking off No. 3 Michigan State in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
Freshman guard Landers Nolley II led the way for Virginia Tech, scoring 22 points in the 71-66 win. Virginia Tech improved to 6-0 with the win. Michigan State now sits at 3-2 on the season.
Virginia Tech pulled off the win using the same strategy the team has relied on all season: A bevy of three-point shots. Virginia Tech shot 47.6 percent on its 21 attempts from beyond the arc. Nolley was a major part of Virginia Tech’s success in that area, going 4-6 from three-point land.
That’s been the team’s calling card this season. Virginia Tech put up a whopping 161 three-point attempts coming into Monday’s game. The team was shooting 42.4 percent on those attempts.
The win also gives new Virginia Tech coach Mike Young his first signature win at the school. Young spent 17 seasons at Wofford before joining Virginia Tech in April. With the win, Virginia Tech will take on Dayton on Tuesday.
Michigan State didn’t go down without a fight. The Spartans kept things close until late in the second half. With 4:41 minutes left, Virginia Tech opened up a 10-point lead. Michigan State looked finished.
But the team rallied back in the final minutes. The Spartans whittled away at the lead, eventually making it a 1-point game with 1:15 left. Virginia Tech answered that with a clutch three from Nolley. Michigan State couldn’t battle back from that.
After starting the season with a loss against Kentucky, Michigan State rallied back for three straight wins. Following the loss to Virginia Tech, Michigan State will look to rebound against Georgia on Tuesday.
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