Nolley II, Hokies cruise past Wolfpack, 72-58

Virginia Tech's Jalen Cone (15) celebrates a 3-point basket in front of the NC State bench in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)
By  | 

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Landers Nolley II scored 29 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 72-58 victory over NC State on Saturday.

Nolley hit 8 of 19 from the floor for the Hokies (12-4, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their second straight game after a 26-point loss to rival Virginia on Jan. 4. Nolley drilled four 3-pointers and hit 9 of 10 from the free-throw line en route to his second-largest scoring game this season.

Tyrece Radford added a career-high 18 points for the Hokies. DJ Funderburk led the Wolfpack (11-5, 2-3) with 18 points.

Virginia Tech fell behind 10-0 to start the game after the Wolfpack hit four of their first seven shots. But following a timeout, the Hokies answered with a 13-0 run and never trailed again. Nolley hit two 3-pointers in that run, including one with 13:23 left in the half that gave the Hokies their first and last lead.

Virginia Tech led 40-33 at halftime and NC State cut the lead to one in the second half on dunk by Funderburk with 12:07 remaining. But a Radford layup pushed the lead to 48-45 with 11:41 remaining and a breakaway dunk by Nolley gave the Hokies a 50-45 advantage with 9:56 to go.

Radford and Nolley put the game away three minutes later, combining to score eight points in an 11-0 Virginia Tech run that gave the Hokies a 66-52 lead – their biggest of the game.

NC State finished with season lows in points and shooting percentage (31.9%, 22 of 69).

BIG PICTURE

NC State: Leading scorer and rebounder C.J. Bryce (16.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg) missed his fourth consecutive game after suffering a blow to the head in a practice before the Wolfpack’s game against Appalachian State on Dec. 29. Bryce’s injury has left NC State with just eight scholarship players, and the Wolfpack missed him, as they couldn’t find another scorer to team with Funderburk.

Virginia Tech: Radford rarely gets any publicity, but he has become the unsung standout on this team. The team’s leading rebounder as a guard, he grabbed nine rebounds, and he is arguably the team’s best defender. He was the primary reason why NC State’s Jericole Hellems made just 2 of 14 from the floor.

UP NEXT

NC State: The Wolfpack play at home against Miami on Wednesday.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies play at Wake Forest on Tuesday.