Storm Murphy led a balanced attack with 14 points and Nahiem Alleyne added 12 as Virginia Tech rode hot shooting and strong defense Sunday afternoon to remain undefeated with a methodical 72-43 victory over Merrimack in Blacksburg, Va.
Justyn Mutts scored all nine of his points in the first half and added a team-high seven rebounds for Tech (5-0), which shot 55% from the floor and made 11 of 23 shots (47.8%) from beyond the arc.
Tech was feeling it late as Murphy bounced an inbounds pass off the back of a Merrimack defender, collected the ball and rose for a sneaky layup. Then in the final 90 seconds, walk-ons Ben Varga and Camden Johnson hit celebratory 3-pointers.
Jordan Minor led Merrimack (3-3) with 14 points and seven rebounds. The Hokies forced 15 turnovers, limited the Warriors to 39% shooting and outrebounded them 32-22.
Virginia Tech gained control in the first half. Sean Padula came off the bench and hit a 3-pointer and then drove to the lane and fed Mutts for a layup to complete a quick 8-0 run that gave the Hokies a 23-11 lead.
Mutts added a 3-pointer, completing the half 4 for 4 from the floor as Tech took a 34-18 lead to the intermission.
Early in the second half, Mutts turned his focus to feeding his teammates. On back-to-back possessions he assisted on a 3-pointer by Nahiem Alleyne and a fastbreak layup by Storm Murphy which put the Hokies up 45-27.
Reserve Darius Maddox hit a 3-pointer later in the half, hiking Tech's lead past 20 points for the first time and making him 7 for 11 this season from beyond the arc.
Merrimack was never within 20 in the game's final nine minutes.
--Field Level Media