Virginia Tech Stuns Cassius Winston, No. 3 Michigan St. in Maui Invitational

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2019

LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 25: Landers Nolley II #2 of the Virginia Tech Hokies drives to the basket around Xavier Tillman #23 of the Michigan State Spartans during the first half at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 25, 2019 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

The most hyped team in college basketball entering the season has now lost twice in five games as No. 3 Michigan State fell to unranked Virginia Tech 71-66 Monday in Hawaii.

Landers Nolley II filled up the stat sheet for the Hokies in the Maui Invitational upset, finishing the game with 22 points, five assists, three steals and two blocks. He also made four three-pointers, including a clutch shot to extend the lead in the final minute.

Virginia Tech (6-0) finished 10-of-21 from behind the arc in the win. 

Michigan State (3-2) couldn't keep up as star point guard Cassius Winston struggled with foul trouble early and never got into a rhythm. He ended the game with seven points and two assists on 2-of-8 from the field. 

Aaron Henry helped the Spartans even stay competitive with 18 points, although he was the only player on his team in double figures compared to five from Virginia Tech.

With Winston on-and-off the court, the team simply couldn't run a consistent halfcourt offense and finished with 16 turnovers compared to just 13 assists.

Michigan State entered the season as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press poll but lost its first game to Kentucky. The struggles have carried over through the first month of the season as the squad has been unable to get on the right track.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech deserves plenty of credit for hanging with the Spartans throughout the game before building a 10-point lead with under five minutes remaining. When the favorite fought back, Nolley came through with multiple clutch shots to secure the win.

After averaging 20.2 points per game through his first five games, the freshman proved Monday this wasn't a fluke:

This was also the biggest win of the year for Mike Young, who is in his first season with the program after replacing Buzz Williams. The former Wofford coach has already proved in his first month he can handle power-conference action.

Virginia Tech will now face Dayton in the winner's bracket of the Maui Invitational while Michigan State will face Georgia in an intriguing battle in the consolation bracket.

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