No. 24 Virginia Tech hosts Longwood before break

·2 min read

In-state opponents Longwood and No. 24 Virginia Tech get in one more run before taking a nice break when they meet in a nonconference game on Monday night in Blacksburg, Va.

The first meeting of schools separated by 140 miles in almost 10 years pits teams off to polar-opposite starts.

The Hokies (6-1) have lost just once -- to Penn State -- between stretches of four and two wins. The current streak has come at the expense of Clemson last Tuesday and Coppin State on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Lancers (1-6) have a win over North Carolina A&T separating a pair of three-game losing streaks. The latter skid includes a double-dip at Radford in the Big South Conference openers.

Virginia Tech will look to go to 4-0 in the all-time series in its last tune-up for an Atlantic Coast Conference duel with Miami next Tuesday. The Hokies have opened 1-0 in the ACC thanks to their 66-60 upset win over 24th-ranked Clemson.

But that's not what has had the Hokies talking leading into the Longwood game. The team is still riding high after a 40-point romp over Coppin State over the weekend that featured 20 3-pointers, 14 more than it made in any of its previous four games.

"Good to see the skies open and some shots going home," observed Virginia Tech coach Mike Young. "It's like a hitter in baseball. It's like a drop-back quarterback in football. You get a couple in there and your shoulders get back and the basket looks a little bit bigger. Confidence is a big thing in any athletic endeavor."

Eight different Hokies, led by Jalen Cone and Nahiem Alleyne with five apiece, contributed to the 20, which came within one of the school record.

Longwood posted some big numbers of its own last week, but they came in the classroom. The school announced a team GPA of 3.24 for the fall semester on the eve of a party-crashing, double-header sweep at the hands of Radford.

"We have to come out and compete every single night to be the best team we want to be. Considering the roster we're working with right now, there's no excuse for that," a disappointed Lancers coach Griff Aldrich declared after the losses. "Everybody should be out fighting as hard as they possibly can."

The Lancers responded well against unbeaten Citadel on Saturday, getting 20 points off the bench from Leslie Nkereuwem and 18 from Justin Hill in a 91-89 defeat.

After eight days off, Longwood resumes Big South play next Wednesday with a two-night, two-game home matchup with North Carolina Asheville.

--Field Level Media