For nearly the first 18 minutes of their ACC game against Miami at Cassell Coliseum, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team was in control. The Hokies led 30-21 right before halftime, but the final two minutes of the half turned everything around.
Miami closed the half on an 8-0 run on a 3-pointer, two free throws, and a three-point play to trail just 30-29 at halftime, then began the second half on a 12-4 run for a 41-34 lead and the two teams went back-and-forth the rest of the game. The Hurricanes, however, made more plays down the stretch and made their free throws to escape Cassell with a win to improve to 3-2 in the ACC and 12-4 overall. The Hokies fell to 2-3 in conference play and 10-6 overall.
Before the game, it was announced, and not really a surprise, that Hunter Cattoor was not available for the game because of an injury suffered Wednesday night against Clemson, and after beating the Tigers after he went out of the game, they missed him against Miami.
Sean Pedulla did all he could to keep Virginia Tech in the game, scoring 32 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing out four assists. Lynn Kidd scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, but Tyler Nickel, who had 24 points against Clemson only had six, on two first-half 3-pointers and was just 2-for-10 from the field and 2-for-8 from behind the arc. MJ Collins had six points and seven rebounds, while Robbie Beran had eight points and five rebounds.
Miami took advantage of Virginia Tech turnovers and scored 14 points off of 15 by the Hokies, including six by Pedulla. That ended up being the difference in the game. Another difference was Miami's depth as they placed four players in double figures.
Virginia Tech heads on the road for two games next week at Virginia and North Carolina State and hopefully get Cattoor back for his offense and defense.