SWARTSBURG With a strong performance in the paint and on the boards, Virginia Tech earned its fifth home win of the season with a 67-57 victory over Minnesota in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Hokies let two players score in double figures, led by Sean Pedullawho had 17 points. Justin Mutts added 16 points, nine rebounds, two steals and three blocks and Give Basil added nine points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Led by Mutts’ three offensive rebounds, Virginia Tech did a great job crashing the offensive glass and bringing down 11 boards, resulting in 13 second chance points.
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Virginia Tech’s defense held Minnesota’s shooters to just 36.7 percent of the field, including 26.1 percent from three-point range. The Golden Gophers didn’t get many second chances on the offensive end, as they only grabbed eight offensive rebounds and scored eight second chance points, while Virginia Tech knocked down 31 defensive rebounds.
How it happened
After a 22-22 tie, Virginia Tech went on a 13-0 run with 6:22 left in the first half, highlighted by a bucket from Pedulla, to take a 35-22 lead to take. The Hokies then lost some of that lead, but still went into halftime with a 39-27 lead. Virginia Tech caused the most first-half damage in the paint, scoring 20 of 39 points close to the basket.
After the break, Virginia Tech continued to extend that lead to 49-36 before putting on a 5-0 run finished by Mutts’ jumper to grow the lead to 54-36 with 11:40 left in the game . The Golden Gophers narrowed the margin slightly before the game was over, but the Hokies still drove the rest of the way for the 67-57 win. Virginia Tech settled things in the paint, recording 20 of 28 points in the track.
The Hokies were a season high with 42 rebounds.
Tech recorded 40 points in the paint, marking the fourth game in a row with 40+ points in the paint.
Virginia Tech’s plus-15 rebound margin is the third-largest against a major opponent in the Mike Young era.
The Hokies had eight blocks, tied for third 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 Justin Mutts seventh time this season.
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