Mutts scores 27 in Tech’s win over No. 18 North Carolina

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Justyn Mutts drives to the basket in the Hokies win Sunday over North Carolina. (

Four Hokies score in double figures as Tech starts ACC play 1-0

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech picked up its first ranked win of the season, as the Hokies downed No. 18 North Carolina, 80-72, on Sunday afternoon.

The Hokies had four players score in double figures, led by Justyn Mutts, who recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Pedulla tacked on 14 points and four assists and Hunter Cattoor helped out with 13 points.

Led by MJ Collins‘ five offensive rebounds, Virginia Tech did a great job crashing the offensive glass, pulling down 10 boards that resulted in eight second chance points.

Virginia Tech’s defense held North Carolina to only 17.6-percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Tar Heels did not have much luck cleaning up their misses on the offensive glass either, as they finished with four offensive rebounds and managed four second chance points while Virginia Tech cleared 29 defensive rebounds.

How It Happened

After falling behind 5-2, Virginia Tech went on an 8-0 run with 17:53 left in the first half to take a 10-5 lead. The Hokies then added five points to that lead by the end of the period and entered halftime with a 37-27 advantage. Virginia Tech did most of its first half damage in the paint, scoring 22 of its 37 points close to the basket.

Following intermission, Virginia Tech kept widening that lead, expanding it to 44-33 before going on a 5-0 run, finished off by Mutts’ three, to grow the lead to 49-33 with 16:15 to go in the contest. The Tar Heels answered with an 8-0 run that started 8:15 mark to reduce Tech’s lead to eight. Virginia Tech’s lead decreased to three with 3:06 to go before Mutts got a bucket and Basile hit two free throws to give Tech some space that it used to close out the contest.

Game Notes

» Justyn Mutts notched his 20th career double-double for the Hokies with 27 points and 11 rebounds.
» MJ Collins had a career-high eight rebounds, including five offensive boards.
» Grant Basile tied his season high in assists with four.
» Virginia Tech never trailed after the 17:53 mark in the first half.
» The Hokies had a great day defensively, holding North Carolina to 18-percent from three point land on 17 attempts. That’s the lowest 3-point percentage in an ACC game since Virginia failed to make a 3-pointer against Tech on Feb. 14, 2022.
» Virginia Tech had a 39-25 edge on the boards in the win, which is its second consecutive game out-rebounding its opponents by double-digits. It’s the first occurrence of having back-to-back double-digit rebounding advantages since doing it against St. Francis (PA) and Merrimack last season.
» Virginia Tech got a game-high 11 rebounds from Justyn Mutts, marking the eighth time that Mutts led the team in rebounding this season.

Tech hosts Dayton Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Blacksburg.