Virginia Tech falls completely apart in the second half at Pittsburgh

The Hokies fell apart over the final 20 minutes on the road again this season and this time it happened at Pittsburgh.

Virginia Tech v Pittsburgh
Virginia Tech v Pittsburgh / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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444. Final. 64. 447. ACC. 79

Stop me if you've heard this before. No, seriously. Saturday night, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team was tied 36-36 with Pittsburgh at halftime in a key ACC game. All they needed was a big second half to secure a Quad 1 road victory. The Panthers had other ideas.

Pittsburgh came out of the locker room and was on fire from the field and foul trouble quickly piled up on the Hokies and it all led to another disappointing road loss, something that has been all too common this season after Mike Young's team gave up 43 points in the final 20 minutes. Here are some observations after the Hokies fell to 15-12 overall and 7-9 in the ACC with another conference road game on the schedule Tuesday night at Syracuse.

Observations from Virginia Tech's loss at Pittsburgh

  • The Hokies have enough trouble winning away from Blacksburg, but factor in a 3-for-20 from behind the 3-point line, then it's nearly impossible for them to win away from Blacksburg. They were 1-for-6 in the first half and the struggles continued in the second half. Now they get a tough place to shoot in, the JMA Dome, Tuesday night in Western New York.
  • Another game with another poor 20 minutes of defense for Virginia Tech. The Panthers blew the game open with an 18-0 run in the second half and whether it was on the offensive or defensive end, the Hokies had no answers.
  • Sean Pedulla was the only reason Tech was tied at halftime as he had 14 points, six rebounds, and six assists, but foul trouble early in the second half didn't help the cause and that's when Pittsburgh took control with their run.
  • Pedulla finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Mylyjaet Poteat was the only other Hokie in double figures with 10 points and he also had seven rebounds. MJ Collins had nine points, Lynn Kidd had eight and Hunter Cattoor had seven.
  • If you want a play that summed up the game for Virginia Tech, it happened with just four minutes remaining. Pitt's Jaland Lowe stepped in between two Hokies at the top of the arc in what appeared to be hand off and he took the ball and went in for a layup. Pittsburgh's freshman finished with 18 points.
  • Pittsburgh was coming off a 91-58 loss at Wake Forest and they are not a team that anyone is going to want to see in Washington for the ACC Tournament or the NCAA Tournament if they get in. They have road wins at Duke and Virginia already this season.
  • I wrote in the game preview that I was taking Pittsburgh despite the performance of the Hokies against Virginia. Why? Until they showed me something away from Blacksburg, I didn't see them coming up big on the road. I thought for a half they had a chance, but the second-half issues again popped up and will be one of many reasons why they'll miss out on the NCAA Tournament this season.

Nothing to do now for the Hokies but to head back to Blacksburg and get ready for an Orange team that is trying to play their way into the NCAA Tournament at 18-10.

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