Justyn Mutts scored 15 points and David N’Guessan came off the bench to add 15 as Virginia Tech defeated the University of Maine men’s basketball team 82-47 in the season opener for both squads on Tuesday night at Blacksburg, Virginia.
The matchup was played before a crowd of 6,743 at Cassell Coliseum.
UMaine came out cold offensively, making just three of its first 15 shots from the field while the Hokies went 11 of 15 to open up a 27-9 lead.
Virginia Tech, an NCAA Tournament qualifier last season picked to finish fifth in this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference preseason poll behind Duke, Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia, led 46-22 at intermission.
The Hokies shot 58 percent (19 of 33) from the field during the first 20 minutes of play, with eight different Virginia Tech players scoring during the opening half.
Nahiem Alleyne added 13 points for the Hokies, who shot 53 percent (35 for 66) for the game.
UMaine shot just 32.9 percent overall from the field and 18.2 percent from the three-point line while committing 19 turnovers.
The Black Bears were led offensively by freshman reserves Kristians Feierbergs and Byron Ireland. Feierbergs, a 6-foot-8 forward from Riga, Latvia, contributed nine points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Ireland, a 6-foot-1 guard from Annapolis, Maryland, also scored nine points to go with two steals and two assists.
Virginia Tech is 2-0 all-time against the Black Bears. The other victory occurred on Nov. 11, 2016, in a season-opening 80-67 decision, also at Cassell Coliseum.
UMaine will play its home opener at 5 p.m. Friday against the University of Maine at Farmington. The game will be the Black Bears’ first at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor since Feb. 29, 2020.
Correction: Virginia Tech was picked to finish fifth in their conference in a preseason poll and UMaine shot 18.2 percent from the three-point line. An earlier version of this story was incorrect.