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Hokies and Honorary Starter Chase O'Brien Pick Up the Win in Blacksburg, Fend Off the Pitt Panthers

By Zachary Ozmon | February 18
Basile and chase
Photo Via VT Athletics

The Hokies were honored as Coach Young expressed on Jan. 28. They intended on treating Chase like royalty on Saturday and that's exactly what they did.

Chase was an honorary starter for Saturday's game and was introduced during Virginia Tech's starting lineup. Chase was given a VT Nike jersey signed by all the players for him to wear at the game. The coaching staff also wore the shoes designed by the Carilion Children's patients once again tonight.

"He's the toughest guy in the building, 6 years old and dealing with that and his mom Jessica his dad Eric, to have them here to be able to recognize him and bring him in the locker room after a big win and presenting the game ball... its pretty awesome."

For more on Chase O’Brien, check out his story below:

After a tough game against Georgia Tech in which the Hokies' comeback fell short, Virginia Tech (16-11, 6-10 ACC) defended the Cassell, defeating Pitt (19-8, 12-4 ACC) by a final score of 79-72. While the Hokies still have yet to figure out their woes on the road, this win moves the Hokies to 12-3 at home.

Virginia Tech started slowly as Pitt was moving the ball and getting inside with ease. Early on, trailing 11-5, a timeout was called by Coach Mike Young. Coming out of the timeout, the Hokies bolstered up their defense and went on a 13-0 run thanks to a balanced offensive attack led primarily by Mutts and Poteat. The hot start from Mutts cooled down, but that didn’t stop him from being a facilitator, as he had four assists on the night.

As for Pitt, they never led after their quick start, and by the end of the half, the Hokies had pushed their lead up to 11 thanks to Grant Basile, who knocked down a three at the end of the half. Basile’s impact on this Hokie offense has been nothing short of special.

"His ability to shoot has been great... "He's a very smart basketball player," Coach Young said. "He's put together a really good level of play for us and has really hit his stride."

Both teams got off to slow starts in the second half as the referees let both teams figure it out on the court. The scoring for the Hokies in the second half was carried by Cattoor and Basile as they increased Tech’s lead back to 11 at the 11:19 mark in the second half.

The closest the Panthers got to the lead held by Virginia Tech was five points, but the Hokie defense held strong against the tough Pitt offense.

Another big contributor to the win tonight was Mylyjael Poteat off the bench. With 20 minutes of game time, his second-highest total of the season, Poteat posed a threat down low against the Panthers. He scored 15 points, a season high, and produced half of his offense at the charity stripe, going 7-9.

"He's got great hands, and he's physical," Young stated. "He's working better and sealing people... man, he was good."

"He really moves his feet, he is a big man with really good feet and can switch on some things. He wasn't fouling incessantly tonight as he has over the last couple of games."

Next on the schedule for Virginia Tech is No. 15 Miami, who defeated the Hokies in their last matchup in Coral Gables. The game will take place on Tuesday at 7 p.m in Cassell Coliseum.

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Born in Chesapeake and raised into a family of hokies, Virginia Tech is where I call home now. Attended New River Community College as a freshman and now a sophomore at VT as a transfer student in Fall 2022. Majoring in Sports Media and Analytics, I’m excited for what’s to come for me as a student at VT.

Virginia Tech sports has always been something I have been a fan of. From afternoons in Lane Stadium to nights in Cassell Coliseum, I have loved every second of it no matter the outcome.

One of my first memories of being a Tech fan was our upset win against Ohio State 35-21 where CB Donovan Riley had the game sealing pick-6. More recently, beating UNC in 6 overtimes, our run to the sweet 16, and of course winning the men’s basketball ACC Championship with upsets over UNC and Duke.

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