College hoops didn’t have too much going on the Monday after football ended as the ACC and Big 12 had some games to watch. A pair of top-25 teams did battle early in the night in the ACC and two ranked teams in the Big 12 faced unranked opponents in the later games.
No. 16 Louisville earns quality ACC road win at No. 11 Virginia Tech
Monday’s only matchup between ranked teams saw an ACC matchup between Virginia Tech and Louisville. The weekend saw differing results for both programs as the Cardinals fell at home to North Carolina while the Hokies used stifling defense to earn a road win at N.C. State.
On a short turnaround, it was Louisville knocking down perimeter shots and coming through with a quality 72-64 road win at Blacksburg. The Cardinals used 13-for-27 three-point shooting (48 percent) to fuel its offense as Dwayne Sutton and Ryan McMahon each had 17 points. Jordan Nwora (15 points) and Steven Enoch (10 points) also had solid outings for Louisville as the Cardinals picked up an important win during a difficult stretch of ACC schedule.
Although Virginia Tech continued to miss senior point guard Justin Robinson to a left foot injury, they were still competitive for most of this one thanks to good games from Kerry Blackshear Jr. (21 points) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (17 points). Basically only playing six players, the Hokies are very thin right now and their offense is desperately missing the spacing and shooting that Robinson provides. While backup floor general Wabissa Bede is a plus defender who can set up others on offense with the pass, he was held scoreless as Virginia Tech could never make a run to get over the hump.
The main takeaway from this one is that Virginia Tech really needs Robinson to return to the lineup at nearly full strength for them to be able to hang with the ACC’s best teams. Winning one road game when N.C. State was ice cold was only one game. Sustaining through a rigorous ACC schedule is going to require the Cousy Award finalist returning to the floor.
No. 17 Iowa State holds off Oklahoma for Big 12 road win
The only other interesting game on Monday night saw Iowa State hold off Oklahoma for 75-74 Big 12 road win. Senior Marial Shayok knocked in the critical game-winning three-pointer with the game tied with a little over a minute left as he finished with 16 points.
Lindell Wigginton (18 points) paced five double-figure scorers for the Cyclones, as Iowa State stayed right in the thick of the Big 12 race with the win.
Things get interesting coming up on the Iowa State schedule as they play TCU before getting rematches against current conference leaders Baylor and Kansas State. The Cyclones lost to both of those teams by single digits in the first matchups, so they’ll be looking to get some revenge while making a move up the Big 12 leaderboard.
No. 18 Texas Tech gets blowout win over West Virginia
Ranked teams didn’t have very many games on Monday night as Texas Tech was the only other team besides the aforementioned outcomes. The No. 18 Red Raiders made easy work of West Virginia in an ugly 81-50 Big 12 home win that saw an unbearable amount of fouls get called.
This game saw 51 fouls to 39 field goals between the two teams as Texas Tech used a balanced offensive effort that saw six players score at least nine points each. Brandone Francis led the charge for the Red Raiders with 16 points as Texas Tech shot 52 percent (30-for-57) from the floor.
The most notable thing to come from this game was probably West Virginia’s Logan Routt getting ejected for tripping Texas Tech guard Matt Mooney while Routt was sitting on the bench.
With a road swing through Oklahoma coming up, this was a nice win for the Red Raiders where they got a lot of the roster involved and won with ease.