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Virginia Tech Embarrasses Virginia in the Commonwealth Clash, Locks Up the Cavaliers 75-41

By Zachary Ozmon | February 20
(Via WSET)

Virginia Tech (15-11, 7-8 ACC) destroyed Virginia (20-7, 11-5 ACC) Monday night in Cassell Coliseum, routing the Cavaliers with a crushing 75-41 victory.

At 9:43 in the first half, this game seemed to be just another close-knit matchup, as Virginia only trailed 16-14. That's when the Hokies started to get hot. Virginia Tech would splurge on a 20-0 run and hold UVa scoreless up until 0:46 when Leon Bond III converted the Cavs dunk, the result being a near nine-minute drought as the Hokie lead ballooned 36-16 going into halftime.

From there on out, Virginia Tech never took their foot off the gas pedal and displayed their brand of basketball they’ve had trouble finding for much of this year. Every facet of the game was ruled by the Hokies, and it showed tonight.

“We were onto it; we were beating them to cuts. We were connected, and that was good to see," said Head Coach Mike Young. They were fired up and ready to play, and they played very well.”

“We were geared up and played a really good basketball game.”

What really stood out in this game was the defensive prowess of Mike Young and Co., as they held Virginia to 41 points, their lowest-scoring opponent of the season.

The aggressive play combined with walling up and getting down on guys was a recipe for success in this one, and they did all of that without fouling, as they only committed six fouls, sending Virginia to the line only seven times.

“Our team was onto it with great energy; we were as connected on defense as we’ve been,” said Young. You have to be because they are so violent with their cuts and their screens.”

Four Hokies would reach double figures in the contest, and many of them did it with efficiency. Lynn Kidd and Robbie Beran both shot 100% from the field, 5-of-5 and 4-of-4, respectively. Tyler Nickel and Mylyjael Poteat also performed well, adding 13 and 11 points, respectively.

“I thought Mylyajael and Lynn were quick around the basket,” said Young. They had a couple of catches at the top of their jumps and were finishing them. Great interior passing by everyone.”

“Robbie helped our team immensely defensively with his presence and his communication, and he rebounded.”

The lack of turnovers committed by Virginia Tech was very important in this one. Going from 15 in their previous matchup against Virginia, they would only commit seven last night. Everybody knows that the Cavs stifling defense can get to you, but the Hokies weren’t fazed.

“We are really ratty with our hands; we just contested everything,” said Young. We had a man on a man, a body on a body. They didn’t make a three in the first half.”

“Just presence and awareness; you better be aware against that bunch. We had a short turnaround coming back from Chapel Hill, but to their credit, they handled it masterfully.”

Despite the big win against Virginia last night, the Hokies still have a long way to go if they want any chance at the big dance. With five more potential ACC wins, some of which are from the likes of Pitt and Wake Forest, there is still a chance that the bubble for Virginia Tech may not be popped yet.

“We’ve walked ourselves into a corner here, and we don’t have a lot of wiggle room,” said Young. We’ve got opportunities, but we need to make the most of what we have left. What we have left is a Pittsburgh team that is playing good basketball.”

It's the next game-up mentality for Tech, as they, like Coach Young mentioned, take on the Pitt Panthers (17-8, 8-6 ACC) this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the Petersen Events Center. The Hokies look to get on a roll and close out their season well going into the ACC tournament.

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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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