Pittsburgh took their 15-10 record to Blacksburg to take on the 14-10 Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies have lost their last 5, and 6 out of their last 7. Virginia Tech, at home, came in with a 3 point Vegas advantage. Seeing this game live was absolutely electric and I have to give a round of applause to the fans! The ‘Let’s Go Hokies’ chant rained down over Cassell Coliseum while the Panthers were announced, I couldn’t hear one name from that team due to the volume of the fans and that’s how it went all game long.
Pittsburgh’s first shot was a three to hush the crowd, but only momentarily. Bede came in with a monster jam to get the crowd right back into it. The evolution of Tyrece Radford in-front of our eyes has been something to watch. He continues to impress game in and game out and tonight he did not disappoint being a+11 at halftime. With what should have been on SportsCenters top 10, Tyrece legit ripped the ball out of a Pittsburgh’s players hand for a block, but was called a foul as the Hokies were down early until a barrage of 3s happened. Cattoor entered the game and made 2 of his first 3 point shots while Jalen Cone made his first to put the Hokies up 16-13 with 11 minutes left to go in the first half. The great defense of Virginia Tech held the Panthers to 3-5 from 3 and 4-14 overall shooting to take a 23-14 lead with 8 minutes left in the first half. The Hokies who are undersized, outscored the Panthers in the paint 12-8 in thr first half. What really stood out was the Hokies bench outscored the Panthers 14-4, which helped get hem to a 32-23 lead at halftime.
Within the first 4 minutes of the second half, the Hokies took control of the game and didn’t look back. Jalen Cone made 2 more 3s, and another made field goal by PJ Horne helped the Hokies get up to a 44-25 lead. The Hokies took their biggest lead of the evening with an Isaiah Wilkins 3 pointer to go up 19 with 7 minutes killed in the second half. The Panthers clawed their way back into the game with some clutch shooting, defensive shift to a zone, and fast break points, but the Hokies would not let them closer than 6. Naheim Alleyne made a huge 3 in the corner with 5 minutes left in the game to get the Hokies back up 10. P.J. Horne made another monster 3 to put the Hokies back up 9 with 3 minutes left in the second half. See if you have heard this before, but P.J. Horne made another corner 3 to put the Hokies back up 10 with 2:30 left to go. The Hokies took the air out of the ball to end the game with a well deserved victory 67-57. The Hokies will next play Miami in Blacksburg on Wednesday, February 19th.