BLACKSBURG — For the first time since the Charlie Moir era, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team is off to a 4-0 start for the second straight year.
Landers Nolley scored 27 points and sank seven 3-pointers to lead the Hokies to a 79-53 win over Lehigh on Saturday at Cassell Coliseum.
This is the second straight season in which the Hokies have won their first four games. That has not happened in back-to-back seasons at Tech since the falls of 1981 and 1982, when Moir was steering the team.
Moir died Friday at the age of 88. A moment of silence was held for him before the game.
“I know he loved this university,” Tech coach Mike Young said after the win.
Moir won a school-record 213 games at Tech from 1976-87. He steered Tech for more seasons (11) than any other coach in the program’s history.
He attended Young’s introductory press conference at Tech in April.
Young said Moir was thought of within the coaching profession as a “class person.”
“A great family man,” Young said. “He was a heck of a coach. … A beautiful man.”
Nolley, a redshirt freshman, eclipsed 20 points for the third time this season.
“I’m one of the most impactful freshmen in the country,” he said. “[Having to sit out last season] bettered me. I got more knowledgeable, skill. I got in better shape, my mind [got] better. It prepared me for the moments I’m in now.”
Nolley was 10 of 19 from the field, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range.
He was 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the second half.
“I just started hitting shots and caught a streak and racked up some quick points,” Nolley said.
The Hokies sank 14 3-pointers. Freshman guard Hunter Cattoor had 11 points and three 3-pointers.
Junior post player P.J. Horne had 14 points for Tech.
Young said Horne is becoming “Mr. Everything.”
“He screens. He executes our stuff offensively,” Young said. “He’s doing his job in cutting his man out, keeping him off the glass.”
Horne was 2 of 4 from 3-point range Saturday. He was just 3 of 14 from 3-point territory in his first two seasons combined but is 7 of 14 from 3-point range this year.
“It’s just having confidence to shoot the ball,” Horne said. “This year I’m letting it go. … I take more pride in it now.”
Tech redshirt freshman guard Tyrece Radford had a game-high 11 rebounds.
“At the point of someone’s shot, I move with the ball,” Radford said. “You turn around and I’m not there. I’m under the goal, getting the rebound.”
Radford also scored eight points and played well on defense.
The Mountain Hawks shot 39.6 percent from the field and turned the ball over 19 times.
“[Tech] did a very good job of collapsing on the ball. A lot of times our ball-handler was under duress — led to a lot of turnovers for us,” Lehigh coach Brett Reed said. “But we also had some unforced turnovers.”
Up 46-36 with 15:24 left, Tech went on a 25-6 run to build a 71-42 cushion with 5:50 to go.