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Virginia Tech Dominates the Boards, Sack the Seminoles 83-75

By Kyle Beene | February 14
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Tyler Nickel throws it down over FSU's Cameron Corhen (Kyle Beene)

Virginia Tech defeated Florida State 83-75 Tuesday night, improving to 14-10, 6-7 within the ACC.

The late-night game got going at 9 p.m. as the Seminoles won the opening tip. Jalen Warley’s shot was blocked by Robbie Beran, and the Hokies sent it over to Hunter Cattoor. He hit a jumper near the right-side elbow, to get the game going.

The first half was locked up from the start. After Catoor’s bucket, VT and FSU went back and forth with six lead changes and ties apiece. Neither could get a true run going, both teams shooting the lights out. Tech poured in from deep hitting 6-11 for just under 55%, while FSU hit half of its eight shots from range and was 61% from the floor.

If it wasn’t for the shooters, Tech might’ve had a different feeling Tuesday. A spell of bad passes and turnovers plagued the Hokies for several minutes. While it only amounted to six on the board, it felt like 20. They managed to pull through on the efforts of Brandon Rechsteiner, Jaydon Young, and John Camden, who all played late in the half.

“They speed you up a little bit,” said Head Coach Mike Young. “We got a little frantic there at times, but I thought we handled ourselves pretty good.”

“John [Camden] did some good things for us in the first half defensively. Jaydon Young helped our team tonight, and got the three down in the first half as did Rechsteiner,” Mike Young said.

While the shots were falling, it felt like every point came at the line. The Hokies' bounce-back game following a loss to Notre Dame (now 8-16, 3-10 ACC), had a peculiar flow, or lack thereof, as fouls stopped the clock excessively. 61 free throws were attempted over the nearly 2.5-hour regulation game, accounting for almost a third of the 158 total points.

The Hokies opened up the second half with an ally oop from Sean Pedulla to Lynn Kidd, setting the tone. They soon built up the first substantial lead of the game, headlined by a pair of threes from Tyler Nickel.

Virginia Tech let its 49-41 lead dwindle, but never let it go completely. Baba Miller had the answer to Nickel’s quick six, splashing in three points from range. FSU then garnered a steal from a poor Pedulla pass, Jamir Watkins throwing it down on the other end.

Over time, the Noles chipped it down to a one-point game, but Pedulla made his shot count when the Hokies needed him most. He immediately followed with a three to retain control of the game with 11 minutes to go. The remainder of the game was oversaturated with trips to the line; only five field goals fell for Tech.

Catoor’s efficient shooting with four treys led the team with 20 points. Sean Pedulla followed close behind tallying 19 points and four assists. Nickel had 15 on 66% shooting with two steals and Kidd ran the show down low with 12 points and 15 rebounds, six of which were offensive.

“We were quicker to the ball tonight than they were. They were much quicker to the ball in Tallahassee and that was a big part of the game, probably a big part of the game tonight.”

Sean Pedulla was aggressive as usual, driving into the paint relentlessly against the foul-heavy defense. While he didn’t connect on many shots, he made it up at the charity stripe with 14-16 finding their way through the net.

“Sean was quite good. Battled through some fouls like every time you play Florida State, you’re dealing with those issues as they just drive the ball so violently,” said Mike Young.

Jamir Watkins led the way for the Seminoles with 26 points, six rebounds, and four assists. His defense was stellar as well with three blocks and two steals. Darin Green Jr. followed with 14 points.

Virginia Tech has a few days to rest and prepare before taking on the 7th-ranked UNC Tar Heels (19-6, 11-3 ACC) on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Me Ronnie

Born into a family of Hokies, I can remember watching Frank Beamer and Tyrod Taylor on Saturdays with the family, so attending VT was always the dream. 


In 2020, I began my time at Virginia Tech in the Sports Media Analytics program and eventually joined the Sons in January of 2023 as the softball beat writer. Now, I’ve got football, basketball, and baseball coverage, plus you’ll see some of my photographs in articles throughout the website. 


Graduation is on the horizon, but I can’t wait to come back in the fall to begin my Master’s and continue working with the team!


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