BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Landers Nolley II had his first career double-double, freshman Hunter Catoor set season highs with 17 points and five 3-pointers, and Virginia Tech cruised to a 92-37 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Sunday night.
Nolley finished with 18 points and a career-best 10 rebounds. John Ojiako added 15 points, Tyrece Radford scored 13 and Jalen Cone 11 for the Hokies (10-3). Virginia Teh also tied a school record with just two turovers, both coming after coach Mike Young emptied his bench in the closing minutes.
With the Hkies now heading into Atlantic Coast Conference play, first-year coach Mike Young said he’s generally pleased with his team’s progress.
“This has not been murderer’s row,” he said of the schedule to date. “We have played some good programs. … For this team to get here, you know, our losses, Dayton, BYU amd Duke, I feel pretty good. Now we’ve got 18 bloodbaths, if you will, in league play and it starts Saturday in Charlottesville.
Nolley hit a 3-pointer to start the scoring and another to cap a 32-5 run over the first 12-plus minutes of the game. Radford scored 11 points during the stretch while the Hawks were just 2-of-17 shooting and committed five of their 14 turnovers.
Da’Shawn Phillips led Eastern Shore (1-14) with nine points. The Hawks, who have lost four in a row, shot 23.7% (14 of 59) and were outscored 16-2 at the free-throw line.
Virginia Tech took a 45-22 lead into the break and then scored the first the first 15 second-half points to open a 38-point lead with 14 minutes to play.
The Hokies finished with 12 3-pointers. The 55-point margin was their most lopsided since a 99-34 rout of Mount St. Mary’s in January 2011.
“Twenty assists and two turnovers is quite, you know. impressive,” Young said. Keeping that up in conference play will be a challenge.
“We still look so young in some regards, just in terms of our readiness, just in terms of our level of engagement, the communication,” he said. “They like chatterboxes in the locker room and in the halls and then they go on the floor and we withdraw inside of ourselves a little bit and I don’t like that.”
Eastern Shore: After losses at Penn State, Stanford, Oklahoma and Baylor, the Hawks return home to start MEAC play. No team in the league has a winning record so the road experience could be a big help in tight games.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies got the Christmas rust off but now comes the ACC and a pair of tough road games, at defending national champion Virginia and and then Syracuse. They have proven they can win with a 71-66 win over then-No. 3 Michigan State but they followed that up with losses to Dayton and BYU, all in the Maui Invitational. Virginia Tech sits at 1-1 in the conference, a season-opening 67-60 win at Clemson and a 14-point loss to Duke the first week of December.
Maryland Eastern Shore opens Mideastern Athletic Conference play at home against Howard (2-11) on Saturday.
Virginia Tech heads to Charlottesville to face No. 16 and defending national champion Virginia.
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