Basile, Mutts and Pedulla highlight well-rounded Tech performance
BLACKSBURG – Using a strong performance in the paint and on the boards, Virginia Tech picked up its fifth home win of the season with a 67-57 triumph over Minnesota in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Hokies had two players score in double figures, led by Sean Pedulla, who had 17 points. Justyn Mutts added 16 points, nine rebounds, two steals and three blocks and Grant Basile added nine points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Led by Mutts’ three offensive rebounds, Virginia Tech did a great job crashing the offensive glass, pulling down 11 boards that resulted in 13 second chance points.
The Virginia Tech defense held Minnesota shooters to only 36.7 percent from the field, including 26.1 percent from three-point range. The Golden Gophers did not get many second opportunities on the offensive end, as they grabbed only eight offensive rebounds and scored eight second chance points while Virginia Tech pulled down 31 defensive rebounds.
How It Happened
After playing to a 22-22 tie, Virginia Tech went on a 13-0 run with 6:22 left in the first half, culminating in a bucket from Pedulla, to take a 35-22 lead. The Hokies then lost some of that lead, but still entered halftime with a 39-27 advantage. Virginia Tech did most of its first half damage in the paint, scoring 20 of its 39 points close to the basket.
Following intermission, Virginia Tech kept widening that lead, expanding it to 49-36 before going on a 5-0 run, finished off by Mutts’ jumper, to grow the lead to 54-36 with 11:40 to go in the contest. The Golden Gophers narrowed the margin somewhat before the game was over, but the Hokies still cruised the rest of the way for the 67-57 win. Virginia Tech took care of business in the paint, recording 20 of its 28 points in the lane.
» The Hokies tied a season high with 42 rebounds.
» Tech recorded 40 points in the paint, marking the fourth-straight game of 40+ points in the paint.
» Virginia Tech’s plus-15 rebound margin is the third largest against a high-major opponent in the Mike Young era.
» The Hokies had eight blocks, tied for the third most in the Mike Young era.
» Sean Pedulla led the Hokies in scoring for the fifth time this season.
» Virginia Tech was led in rebounds by Justyn Mutts seventh time this season.
Next Up: The Hokies return to Cassell Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. to face No. 18 North Carolina in Tech’s ACC opener.