By Marty Gordon
Virginia Tech’s basketball team finally scratched its first win in the Atlantic Coast Conference in a nail-biter Saturday against Notre Dame.
Tech shot a season-high 59.2 percent from the field (29-49). Beyond the arc, the Hokies shot 50 percent (10-20), which is the second-highest number of the year. Saturday’s game marked the second time Virginia Tech shot 50 percent or higher in both categories (Cornell).
The large crowd in attendance seemed to bring energy and provide that spark for the win, even catching the attention of Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey.
“First of all, what a great atmosphere. I thought the Virginia Tech crowd kept their team believing the whole time,” he said afterwards.
The win gave the Hokies three straight wins over Notre Dame for the first time ever and snapped the Irish’s six-game win streak. In addition, Notre Dame was 4-2 in Blacksburg until Saturday afternoon’s game.
The biggest key was the fact the win kept Tech from dropping to 0-5 in the ACC for the first time since 2014. The team also improved to 6-2 at home this season and gave Mike Young his 40th win as head coach of the Hokies.
Keva Aluma has the green-light to shoot from behind the arc, and he spotted up for the shot several times on Saturday. This is all surprising as he only attempted one 3-pointer in two seasons for Young at Wofford before he transferred to Blacksburg.
In two seasons for the Hokies, Aluma has attempted 57 threes, knocking down 20 at a 35.1 percent clip.
Graduate transfer Justyn Mutts is approaching a 1,000 point milestone. He put up 24 on Saturday to give him 942 for his career.
A big question this year is what impact Tech’s bench would have on the season. So far, the reserves are averaging 15.6 points per game.
ACCsports.com has released its Mid-Season All-ACC squad with Tech’s Keve Aluma being named to the second team. The first-team included Duke’s Paolo Banchero and Wendall Moore Jr., Alondes Williams of Wake Forest, Armando Bacot of UNC and Pittsburgh’s John Hugley.
While speaking with media this past Friday, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips spoke against expanding the College Football Playoff.
“Now is not the time to expand the College Football Playoff,” he said.
Saturday’s Notre Dame game was also an opportunity for new football coach Brent Pry to introduce his new staff of assistants. They received a loud applause.