Hokies looks set to bounce back against No. 25 Xavier on Friday

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team faces second in a row against No. 25 Xavier on Friday night.

Tech (5-1) will take on the Musketeers (4-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. in the third place match of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The game airs on ESPNU.

Last time out, the Hokies suffered their first loss of the season in a fight against No. 9 Memphis. Naheem Alleyne contributed a season-high 21 points, two of which shook the rim inside the Barclays Center, but the Tigers’ stifling defense proved too much for Tech in his first game early in the season.

Friday’s game is the 14e meeting between Virginia Tech and Xavier. The Musketeers have a 9-4 lead over their former Atlantic 10 foes. In the final game between the two sides, the Hokies dropped a heartthrob when Xavier fired a buzzer-beater shot from halfway to win the game in extra time.

Tech then travels to College Park, Maryland, to take on Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on December 1.

Friday 26 November | 19:00 ET
Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)
vs. no. 25 Xavier
Series: Musketeers lead 9-4
Game Notes: Virginia Tech

TV broadcast
Play-by-Play: Rich Hollenberg
analyst: Fraschella

local radio
Virginia Tech Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Tim Bickford

• Virginia Tech is 4-9 all-time against Xavier.
• The match-up between the Hokies and Musketeers dates back to December 18, 1993, and the two teams are former Atlantic 10 rivals.
• Xavier won the last meeting between the two, 63-62, with a half-court buzzer-beater on November 21, 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
• Xavier, who ranks 25 in the AP poll in Friday’s game, was in the rankings once more when the former A-10 foes clashed. That game was contested on January 17, 1998 when the Musketeers, then 18th, defeated Tech 77-66 in Cincinnati.
• The Hokies have been classified twice in the history of the series, with both games in the 1995-96 season and both resulting in Tech wins.

A WIN would…
• Give the Hokies a 6-1 record to close out November – their best start since 2019-20 (also 6-1).
• Move Tech to 6-1 after losing in the last two seasons.
• Mark the fourth consecutive season in which the Hokies took a Top-25 win in November.
• Improve tech to 2-6 all-time in Barclays Center; another win came in the second round of the 2017 ACC tournament – ​​a 99-90 win over Wake Forest.

• Upperclassmen are responsible for 77.6 percent of the Hokies’ scoring this season.
• All five starters have an average of more than eight points per game.

• For the first time this season, the Hokies failed to shoot more than 40 percent from the floor.
• Coach Young credited Memphis’ height, athleticism and depth with keeping Tech at a 33.9 percent season low.
• The Hokies also held their own on the defensive side, limiting Memphis to a 39.3 percent season low.
• Additionally, Tech held 2022 NBA Draft prospect Jalen Duren to a six-point season low on 3-of-7 shootings.

• Tech will have to rebound much better than against Memphis in his last timeout.
• The Hokies lost the rebounding battle with the Tigers 12 (45-33). It marked Tech’s first rebounding double-digit deficit since March 19, 2021 against Florida (-14) in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
• Xavier will be a serious challenge on the boards. The Musketeers averaged 14.4 offensive rebounds per game.
• Against Memphis, Justyn Mutts (12) and Keve Aluma (11) combined for 23 of Tech’s 33 rebounds. It was the first time Tech had scored two players double-digit rebounds in the same game since Mutts and Aluma did so at Notre Dame on January 27, 2021.

Keve Aluma recorded his first double-double of the season vs. Memphis – 14 points and 11 rebounds.
• He led all Hokies with six double-doubles in the 2020-21 campaign.
• Aluma has doubled in four of Tech’s six games. However, the game in Memphis marked the first time this season that the Berlin native, Maryland, recorded double-digit rebounds.

• Below Mike Young, the Hokies have recorded five wins over AP-ranked opponents, four of them last season.

Give a Comment