Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
After leading the Hokies to a season-opening victory at Clemson, Mike Young returned home to lead the Hokies at the place where he grew up rooting for Virginia Tech, Cassell Coliseum. While Young's vantage point was different for this game, the Hokies attained a result just like the 1972-73 Virginia Tech NIT championship team that helped nurture his love for basketball.
Virginia Tech used a dominant 27-3 start to cruise to a 74-42 victory over Coppin State. With the win, the Hokies improved to 2-0 on the season while Coppin State fell to 0-2.
Virginia Tech's fast start took the pressure off quickly as the Hokies showed their youth with some inconsistency in offensive efficiency slowing them down after their fast start. Despite that, Virginia Tech stuck with it as Coppin State was able to get no closer than 17 points the rest of the way.
Virginia Tech's defense was extremely impressive as VT held Coppin State to 19.7% from the field including 6-39 (15.4%) from three-point range while forcing 16 turnovers. That dominance didn't extend to the glass as though the Hokies outrebounded CSU 49-45, the Eagles got the better of the Hokies on the offensive glass 16-6.
Offensively, the Hokies weren't as effective shooting a solid 44.3% from the field including 11-33 (33.3%) from three-point range while having 15 turnovers of their own. The Hokies did move the ball around fairly well though with 17 assists on their 27 made field goals.
Nahiem Alleyne showed his potential to become a lights out scorer for the Hokies with 18 points and 2 rebounds on 6-8 shooting from the field including 4-6 from three-point range. Alleyne was the biggest star of the night for the Hokies as the true freshman from Georgia showed plenty of promise.
Landers Nolley wasn't as efficient as he was against Clemson, but Nolley was still productive with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Tyrece Radford almost had his first career double-double with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks while Wabissa Bede came close to a double-double of his own with 10 assists, 9 rebounds, and 3 points.
Virginia Tech started out fast against Coppin State with Isaiah Wilkins, P.J. Horne, and Nahiem Alleyne each making a three during the Hokies' first 4 possessions, giving VT an early 9-0 lead before Coppin State made a 3 of their own. However, the Hokies' dominance continued with a 18-0 run extending Virginia Tech's lead to 27-3 that went inside the 7-minute mark of the first half. From there, it would back-and-forth the rest of the half with Virginia Tech taking a 35-12 lead into halftime.
The Hokies weren't the most efficient on the offensive end shooting 40.6% from the field including 5-17 (29.4%) from three while having 8 turnovers. However, the Hokies' defense was dominant holding Coppin State to 12.1% from the field including 2-21 (9.5%) from three while forcing 10 turnovers. The Hokies did have a 27-23 rebounding advantage, but that didn't show the full picture as Coppin State had a 6-3 offensive rebounding advantage.
Isaiah Wilkins and Nahiem Alleyne led the Hokies with 7 points each while Tyrece Radford had 6 points and 6 rebounds, and Wabissa Bede had 3 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Hokies played 10 players in the first half with 8 of those 10 players scoring and no player having more than the 7 points that Wilkins and Alleyne each had.
Coppin State started the second half much better than the first opening with a 5-0 run to cut Virginia Tech's lead to 35-17 with 17:47 to go. From there, the Hokies and Eagles traded points with VT holding a 42-25 lead. VT started to find their rhythm after that going on a 7-0 run to take a 49-25 lead. The Hokies continue to slowly open up the margin to 55-32 before going on a 10-0 run to widen the lead to 65-32. Virginia Tech and Coppin State went back-and-forth from there to the final media timeout at 3:19 with VT leading 69-37 before finishing it out with a 74-42 victory.