Five days after dropping a disappointing 79-77 non-conference contest to South Carolina, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team returned home Wednesday night to Campbell at Cassell Coliseum. After a sluggish opening 20 minutes, the Hokies played better in the second half and pulled away for a 60-44 victory.
Lynn Kidd led Tech with 24 points and 15 rebounds, in what was a career night for points for the center. Here is some instant reaction from after the Hokies improved to 2-1 in the young season and a game they played without Tyler Nickel who missed the game with an illness.
Lynn Kidd powered Virginia Tech in the first half
It was an offensive struggle for the Hokies in the opening half. How ugly? Real ugly. They shot 10-for-28 from the field, including 1-for-11 on 3-pointers. Hunter Cattoor was 1-for-5 on 3-pointers and offensively, Kidd did a lot of the damage.
Sean Pedulla finished with three assists, but the point guard did a nice job of getting into the lane and setting up Kidd who was able to finish at the rim. Kidd finished with 10 points and three rebounds in the half for Virginia Tech. Mylyjael Poteat came off the bench to score six points for the Hokies, who took a 26-16 lead into halftime.
Against South Carolina, Virginia Tech’s defense and their inability to get stops proved costly, but head coach Mike Young had to be happy with their effort in the first half. They forced turnovers on the first three possessions for the Camels and held the visitors to 4-for-21 from the field. Campbell, which effectively runs a Princeton offense, got seven of their 16 points from the free throw line while turning the ball over 12 times.
Hunter Cattoor, Hokies heat up in the second half
Virginia Tech’s offense was better in the second half and Cattoor shot the ball better, knocking down three 3-pointers in the half. The Hokies saw their biggest lead peak at 17 points, but the Camels cut the deficit to 10 with eight minutes remaining.
After the Hokies got it up to 14 points, the Camels cut the deficit to nine at 48-39, but it was Kidd’s night. The big man was able to get the ball in the post and went to work on a turnaround to regain a double-digit lead allowing Virginia Tech to pull away for the win. Pedulla and Young knew what was working and went to it late in the second half and Kidd was able to get two dunks in the final two minutes to seal the victory.
Cattoor was the only other Hokie in double figures with 12 points and Poteat finished with eight. Robbie Beran had six points, including two huge jumpers in the second half and Pedulla had just five points and five assists.
Virginia Tech gets some time off and returns to Cassell Coliseum Sunday afternoon against Wofford in a matchup between Young and his former school.