Returns to homepage

Hokies Edge Out a Win, Take Down Louisville 75-68

By Zachary Ozmon | December 03
The Courier Journal
Mike Young and Co. squeaked out a win vs Louisville to start off ACC play with a win. (The Courier-Journal)

The Virginia Tech Hokies (6-3, 1-0 ACC) got back in the win column Sunday night as they edged out a win against the Louisville Cardinals (4-4, 0-1 ACC) by a score of 75-68.

It makes me feel good and makes me feel a lot better; we’ve got a long way to go,” Mike Young said. “It feels nice to get out of here with the league opener, and we have a little time now to look at Virginia Tech. We need an uptick, and we need a chance to evaluate to catch our breath and play better ball.”

For both teams first game of conference play, the matchup between the Hokies and Cardinals did not disappoint as it went down to the wire, with Tech sealing the game late with some timely defensive stops.

Despite the win, the Hokies looked less than ready in the first five minutes of the game, as the Cardinals jumped out to an early 10-2 lead in less than 3:30. Mike Young attributed the early deficit to a lack of defensive poise, which has been something that has burdened them so many times already this season.

“I thought we defended well; I thought we got shots contested after the first five minutes, my gosh,” Mike Young said. “What a horrific start defensively; we were slow to the ball, closing out with our hands down, but after that point, the defense was very good."

The Hokies eventually got into a groove and sprung a run to take their first lead with just under 10:00 minutes remaining in the half, which was shortlived. The majority of the first half continued to be run by the Cardinals, as Tech only had the lead for a total of 47 seconds.

Going into the half, it was a 31-30 ballgame, with the majority of the scoring for the Hokies coming from Hunter Cattoor and Lynn Kidd.

But the Hokies needed some juice in the second half if they wanted to end the night with a win, and luckily for the Hokies, MJ Collins was on a heater tonight.

Collins was doing everything for the Hokies, providing 20 points off the bench as well as adding four rebounds and four assists. In his return to the lineup after missing the last game vs. Auburn, Collins went right to work and blew his previous career high of 12 points out of the water.

“He hung in there; he was 0-for-November from three and had affected a couple of other parts of his game; he missed the Auburn game; he played a good ball game,” Mike Young said. “We went a couple of games where we didn’t get a lot of offensive punch from that spot; we had better play from that spot and the four spot today.”

Louisville was never an easy out to begin with, and they look to be a much tougher team in the conference than they were last season.

“I credit Louisville; I watched them play Indiana in MSG about 10 days ago, and they did everything but win the game,” Mike Young said. "The next night against the Texas Longhorns, who are very good, Texas hit a prayer at the buzzer, and that was two good teams, so we knew we had our hands full. Kenny is doing a good job with that team, and it feels good to win the league opener.”

Up next for the Hokies is a non-conference matchup against Valparaiso on Saturday, December 9th.

IMG 1862

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.

Read More of Zachary's Articles