CHARLESTON, S.C. – Behind the second Justyn Mutts double-double in two games, Virginia Tech advanced to the Charleston Classic championship with a 61-59 win over Penn State on Friday afternoon.
The Virginia Tech defense was a problem in Friday’s game, forcing 14 Penn State turnovers while committing nine. Those takeaways turned into eight points on the other end of the floor. Hunter Cattoor led the way individually for the Hokies with four steals.
Tech found a way to win despite shooting 15.8-percent from beyond the arc, which was the worst 3-point shooting performance by the Hokies since shooting 14.8-percent against VMI on Dec. 3, 2020..
The Hokies held their own on the boards, matching the Nittany Lions’ total of 34 rebounds.
Virginia Tech will play the winner of Colorado State-College of Charleston (5 p.m., 11/18) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. for the Charleston Classic championship.
How It Happened
After jumping out to a 10-6 advantage, Virginia Tech went on a 10-0 run with 14:05 left in the first half to increase its lead to 20-6. The Hokies then lost some of that lead, but still entered halftime with a 37-29 advantage. Virginia Tech did most of its first half damage in the paint, scoring 24 of its 37 points close to the basket.
Similar to Thursday against Old Dominion, the Hokies allowed their opponent to get back into the game in the second half. Tech struggled from deep, shooting 0-4 from 3-point range in the second half. Penn State was able to close the once 16-point lead to two with 41 seconds remaining, but neither team would get a bucket after that. The Hokies closed out the game shooting 4-5 from the floor.
» Justyn Mutts notched his 19th career double-double and his third in four games this season.
» Mutts’ 12 rebounds are the most by a Tech player in a single game since he had 14 against Syracuse on Feb. 12, 2022 against Syracuse.
» Virginia Tech never trailed on the way to a 61-59 victory.
» Tech’s defense caused a season-high 14 turnovers. The 14 turnovers are the most by a Virginia Tech opponent since Louisville had 18 on March 1, 2022.
» The Hokies had nine steals, which is also the most since the March 1, 2022 game against Louisville (10).
» Cattoor recorded a career-high four steals.
» Virginia Tech tied its season high (Lehigh) with 40 points in the paint.
» Three 3-pointers in a game is the fewest in the Mike Young era and the lowest total since going 3-28 from deep against Virginia on Feb. 18, 2019.
» Tech’s 61 points are the fewest in a win since defeating NC State 47-24 on Feb. 2, 2019.