Before Virginia Tech took on Valparaiso in a non-conference game at Cassell Coliseum Saturday afternoon, it was announced that Hokies point guard Sean Pedulla was going to miss the game with a foot injury.
Pedulla was on the Virginia Tech bench in a walking boot, and freshman Brandon Rechsteiner got the start in Pedulla’s absence and played well. Virginia Tech put together a good defensive effort and held the Crusaders to 50 points in a win that improved Mike Young’s team to 7-3.
Observations from Virginia Tech defeating Valparaiso at Cassell Coliseum
- It was not an effort that’s going to blow you away, but Rechsteiner played well in Pedulla’s absence. He had five points, he hit a 3-pointer in the first half to give the Hokies a 12-point lead. He had three assists and three turnovers, but it was a nice game to get him some experience in the starting lineup.
- Hunter Cattoor led Virginia Tech with 19 points and was 3-for-6 from behind the 3-point line. He had three assists and three rebounds and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. A very good work-man-like performance minus his backcourt partner.
- Lynn Kidd once again was a big presence in the middle for the Hokies. He had 14 points, and six rebounds and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. He began the game with a dunk on the first possession. Valpo had a hard time defending him.
- Tyler Nickel had 12 points, all on 3-pointers, and three of them came in the first half. He played good defense and found a rhythm with his shooting early and the Hokies needed that contribution.
- Northwestern transfer Robbie Beran came off the bench with nine points and four rebounds for the Hokies.
- Senior Mylyjael Poteat was big off the bench for Virginia Tech with six points, six rebounds, and a pair of assists.
- The 3-ball was falling for the Hokies, who went 10-for-27 from behind the arc. That allowed them to pull away from Valpo in the first half to build a 37-23 halftime lead.
- On the other side, the Crusaders were a dismal 3-for-24 from behind the arc and finished 21-for-52 overall on their field goals.
- One issue Virginia Tech had was turning the ball over. They finished with 15 and in the overall picture, the last two weeks, handling the ball has been an issue, even with Pedulla in the lineup.
- The Hokies gave up 27 second-half points, but there was a stretch in the half where they did a nice job of allowing the Crusaders just one shot, turning them over and building a lead that went over 20 points.
The Hokies get a week off before returning to game action when they host Vermont next Saturday at Cassell Coliseum in what is a very underrated non-conference test against the Catamounts.