BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech and Penn State are set to clash in Friday’s first semifinal of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic at TD Arena in Charleston, South Carolina. Both programs remained unbeaten at 4-0 and advanced after withstanding second-half rallies by their opposition on Thursday.
Play-by-Play: Derek Jones
Analyst: Perry Clark
- Virginia Tech claims a 6-4 edge in the all-time series with Penn State.
- Friday’s matchup between the Hokies and the Nittany Lions will be the third meeting between the two programs in the last five seasons.
- Penn State has won the previous three contests in the series, including a 75-55 decision over the 15th-ranked Hokies in Blacksburg on Dec. 8, 2020.
- This will be the second neutral-site matchup between the two sides. VT and PSU clashed in the 1966 Gator Bowl Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida – a 67- 65 Tech win.
- Four of the last six meetings have been decided by single digits.
COACH YOUNG VS. THE BIG TEN
- Coach Young is 2-1 against Big Ten competition since taking over the reins in Blacksburg. Those wins include a 71-66 upset over No. 3 Michigan State in the 2019 Maui Invitational and a 62-58 decision at Maryland last season.
- The one loss is to Penn State – 75-55 on Dec. 8, 2020.
- Young also recorded a win over Purdue, 69-66, on Dec. 19, 2007 while at Wofford.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS
- Penn State (4-0) built a 21-point lead in the first half and fended off an impressive comeback by Furman to dispatch the Paladins, 73-68, in Thursday’s first game. Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy both chipped in 20 points to propel PSU into the winner’s bracket.
- The Nittany Lions have posted double-digit wins in each of their games prior to Furman, winning by an average of 15.3 points per game on the season.
- No opponent has scored more than 68 points on Penn State this season.
- Penn State is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2019-20.
- Friday’s game will feature two teams that like to let it rip from outside. Penn State averages 13.8 3-pointers made per game, while connecting at a 46.2% clip. Meanwhile, the Hokies convert 11.3 3-pointers per game at a 44.6% rate.
- Pickett, a preseason All-Big Ten selection, leads the balanced PSU offense at 15.8 points per game.
- The Nittany Lions dish out an impressive 19.8 assists per game.
- With a win, the Hokies would advance to Sunday’s championship game at 3:30 p.m. where they await the winner between Colorado State and College of Charleston.
Hokies tough out 75-71 win over Old Dominion
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Virginia Tech earned its spot in the Charleston Classic semifinals with a 75-71 victory over Old Dominion on Thursday afternoon.
The Hokies had five players score in double figures, led by Sean Pedulla, who had 18 points and seven assists. Grant Basile added 15 points and two blocks off of the bench, while Darius Maddox chipped in with 12 points.
Virginia Tech did a great job taking care of the basketball, dishing out 13 assists while only turning the ball over six times. Pedulla’s seven assists were the most for the Hokies.
Tech will take on Penn State on Friday at noon (ESPN2/ESPNU), with the winner earning a spot in the championship game on Sunday.
How It Happened
After playing to an 8-8 tie, Virginia Tech went on an 8-0 run with 13:39 left in the first half, culminating in a bucket from Justyn Mutts, to take a 16-8 lead. The Hokies then added six points to that lead by the end of the period and entered halftime with a 39-25 advantage. Virginia Tech relied on its three-point shooting in the period, knocking down six shots to account for 18 of its 39 points.
The Monarch chipped into Tech’s lead throughout the second half by shooting 48.4-percent from the field in the second half, including hitting six shots from deep. A 5-0 run by Old Dominion brought the lead dwon to six with 5:56 remaining in the game, but Darius Maddox hit the first of two late 3-pointers to steady the Hokies. Again, the Monarchs would hit a pair of runs that brought the game down to two, but Tech finished the game hitting five-straight free throws to come away on top.
» The Hokies have shot 43.5-percent or higher from beyond the arc in three of four games this season.
» Virginia Tech allowed ODU to get 18 offensive rebounds – the most by any opponent since Florida State reached the same number on March 8, 2017.
» Tech is now 3-1 in the last four games that it has been out-rebounded in.
» Pedulla had 7+ assists for the third time in his career. Furthermore, he extended his streak of scoring 18+ points to five games dating back to last season.
» Virginia Tech had five players reach double-figure scoring for the first time since facing Notre Dame in the 2022 ACC Tournament on March 10, 2022.