Virginia Tech Drops Second Straight ACC Game At Florida State

MJ Collins and the Hokies controlled much of Saturday’s game at Florida State but couldn’t hang on late. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Virginia Tech dropped its second consecutive conference game on the road at Florida State on Saturday, losing 77-74. It’s the fourth time in Mike Young’s five seasons that Tech is below .500 in ACC play through three games.

The Hokies (9-5, 1-2 ACC) controlled the game for three-fourths of the afternoon and led by as many as nine points but let the lead slip away late. They trailed by 10 points with over two minutes remaining, and though it came down to the final possession, the Seminoles (8-6, 2-1) came away victorious.

Tech hit 11 3-pointers in the win (11-of-23, 48%) and received big contributions in the backcourt, but frontcourt production was lacking, and against a lengthy FSU team, it was the difference. The Hokies technically won the battle on the glass (35-32) and limited the ‘Noles to three treys but struggled for stretches that came back to bite. Specifically, Leonard Hamilton’s club had a 14-0 run over three-plus minutes that flipped the game on its head.

Tech had a 7-0 stretch in the final 75 seconds that tied things up at 74 with five ticks left. All of that came from junior point guard Sean Pedulla, who scored a game-high 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 3-of-6 from three, while adding two rebounds, two assists and turning it over four times.

He gave the Hokies a fighting chance at the buzzer, but Seminoles guard Primo Spears drove to the rim and drew contact from Hunter Cattoor with 1.2 remaining. He made two foul shots, which sealed the game.

Cattoor finished with 19 points, more than any FSU player, and made five of his six 3-point attempts. In his last two trips to Tallahassee, he’s 14-of-17 from behind the arc with 46 points. He added five rebounds too.

Tech guards MJ Collins and Tyler Nickel also had productive outings. Collins scored 10 points and made two of his five threes while corralling four boards. Nickel had nine points, which included one three and four free throws.

The Hokies struggled on the interior, however. Their frontcourt of Lynn Kidd, Mekhi Long, Robbie Beran and Mylyjael Poteat combined for just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Though they had 21 of the team’s 35 rebounds, they weren’t scoring threats — even Kidd, who has been a go-to double-digit scorer this season.

Tech shot the ball well enough but did not take care of it. For the second straight outing, it logged more than 15 turnovers. Ten of those came in the second half in Tallahassee; for comparison, the Seminoles only turned it over 10 times for the entire game. FSU used a full-court press for the majority of the afternoon, which took the Hokies out of rhythm at times.

Tech also didn’t fare well at the charity stripe. After entering the day ranked sixth in free throw shooting at 79 percent, the Hokies went 13-of-20 (65%). Florida State got to the line often and made 18-of-29 attempts.

Twelve players saw action for FSU, typical of a Hamilton-coached team. All but two of them scored, four of which were in double figures: Spears, Cameron Corhen, Jaylan Gainey (11 points each) and Darin Green Jr. (10 points). Baba Miller and Jamir Watkins chipped in eight, Taylor Bol Bowen had six and Jalen Warley and De’Ante Green had five apiece.

Miller and Watkins were the most effective players for the ‘Noles. The former had 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals while the latter grabbed eight boards and dished out four assists.

The Hokies are back at home on Wednesday evening vs. No. 16 Clemson (7 p.m. ET on ESPN/2/U) before a Saturday clash with Miami. The Tigers took both meetings last season.

Box Score: Florida State 77, Virginia Tech 74 

44 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. VT just does not handle the press well and it takes out of rhythm. Have not seen the press broken down and VT get a lay up open easy shot. Until it cost the other team why wouldn’t every one press.

  2. We’re weak in the paint. No longer have an energy guy like Mutts. Recruiting and portal intakes have not yielded a gem (except Mutts). Too much reliance on long jumpers. And CMY holds on to timeouts like he’s gonna redeem them for gas points. Still love the guy but we need to find a way to turn up the gain.

    1. Yes on the timeouts. Coach K used to call timeout in the first 3 minutes of a game if felt his team was was falling behind literally or not ready to play. They would always come out with fire. MY can’t hold onto those gas points early on.

  3. Wonder if the folks posting on this board are the same ones tha thought the football season waslost after 4 games?

  4. This is the least-talented team CMY has had at VT (except his 1st yr maybe?). Missed on the portals, lost a very important piece late and depended too much on his 2 guards having career years.

    Still a solid coach but next year may tell how long is future is at VT. Great guy and has won an
    accT but his postseason record is not good (non acc tournaments)

    Thought we had something there for a bit ..

    1. I have to agree. But we don’t have any “bad” players. They’re all agonizingly average. But, as a unit, they could become a very formidable team if they just played b ball the way it’s meant to be played. Fundamentals. Hate to make the comparison, but Beamer won with 3 stars on fundamentals and heady, tough play. They can’t lose their heads.

      Pedulla, God love him, is out of control. He isn’t making his teammates better. He’s already established he’s a shooting threat so he should be leveraging that drawing defenders to himself and dumping it for easy buckets. Now if the forwards could just hit short jumpers that would be great.

  5. the second sentence of the article says it: “. It’s the fourth time in Mike Young’s five seasons that Tech is below .500 in ACC play through three games.”. For whatever reason CMY can’t seem to figure out how to get VT off to a fast start in league play, whether due to out-of-conference scheduling, inadequate recruiting and/or inadequately preparing the team in the pre-season. We don’t seem to be athletic enough or tough enough. Hope he can regroup the team.

    1. He has a batch of new players each year and he’s trying to figure out who’s who and what’s what and develop versus playing time, etc. That said…it seems he and his staff have a hard time figuring out who is who and what is what with what they have. And THAT said, they get there…they always seem to get better. Let’s hope.

  6. It will be interesting to see what adjustments CMY will make going forward. Cattoor and Pedulla are reliable scorers, but we need at least 40+ points combined from the rest consistently to complete.

    1. Pedulla can be great, but also a major hindrance. How do you reconcile that? You can’t have an inconsistent point guard that would rather drive and throw up a crazy shot than driving and dumping for easy layups or pop outs for short jumpers. He’s got to have composure because the harder he presses the envelop the worse things get at critical point in time in the game.

      Pedulla could be a GREAT point guard, but will he get there? Not sure. As he goes (as a point guard, not a scorer), this team goes.

  7. Think the key stat is only 9 assists on 25 made buckets. Too much dribbling around and a PG who doesn’t distribute the ball. Team is missing an interior player with passing skills.

    1. Agree. As the announcers stated, at that point in the game, the officials should have swallowed their whistles.

    2. Also agree. I didn’t even see contact, much less contact that is something you call with two seconds left. There is so much contact and hand play allowed now that when they do call it, it seems random at best.

  8. In the third paragraph it says “ Tech hit 11 3-pointers in the win”. I wish tech had won but the game was gifted to FSU.

  9. TSL warned us we need to be winning some away games if we want to play in March. Yesterday’s ending was disappointing. Right the ship vs. Clemson!

  10. Myriad challenges for CMY with this team; some he can coach and some he can’t. Can’t coach size and strength. Agree we aren’t big/tough enough on front line. However, bigger issue seems to be that bigs, for whatever reason/s, aren’t quickly finding open teammates for easier shots. I see it with Kitley in WBB as well. Additionally, we wilt under pressure; whether it is inbound presses or just super-tight man-to-man defenses. Too much dribbling, the ball gets “stuck,” and defenses collapse on players causing poor/late shots or turnovers. Finally is focus. No excuse for lazy turnovers or missing the level of free throws we have been lately. With exception of size/strength, the rest is coachable. Finally, also easy to see Coach Young is struggling finding rotations that work in his scheme. My guess is he will maximize the talent he has this year and work hard to fix the gaps in the portal. Don’t lose hope: especially with Coach Young. He is a great coach IMO.

  11. Our losses this year have a common theme – OUTMUSCLED. We are a finesse team and are unable to compete fully with teams that have strong big men and tight defenses. We have some very talented players but we need a big enforcer to control the boards and restore law and order under the basket.

    1. That, and both ACC losses had combined nearly 30 TO’s. That MUST be cut down, esp. the next 5 games. Keep up the excess TO’s and the season can start ACC play 1-6. Don’t believe it will, but we don’t play a team with equal or less talent until UVa, and that one’s away. Sigh!! Trying to be a glass half full person, but tough to do so far.

  12. Watch the girls today. CMY has lost too many talented players to the portal- Maddux/Rice/Radford!! Why? He was blessed when Aluma transferred with him to VT & he secured Mutts in the portal. Ask yourself- does this look like a well coached team? Even when we win!!

    1. I’m expecting the women to lose today….they don’t seem to be to the level of last years team.

      1. Didn’t lose Radford to the portal. He got into some trouble in Blacksburg and basically had to leave the team to make a new start.

        Women won today! Epic finish.

    2. Radford left to play for th wecoach who recruited him. Rice had injury issues and I suspect he was homesick. Maddux? Can’t say. Btw, I went to the Miliarty Bowl. After thje game, I went down to the filed to mix w/players, coaches, fans. I was immediatley struck w/how young college athletes are. at the ned of the day, they are kids. All younger than my children. By a long shot. .

  13. Will admit that I am surprised by the Men’s BB team struggles this year. I really thought they were a top half of the league team at least.

  14. The three portal transfer collectively have been disappointing on the offensive end especially Long and Beran. Big reason we haven’t gotten it done record wise and this team will struggle mightily in conference play

    1. Agree the three transfers are not top tier ACC players; therefore we are a bottom 4-5 team in the league. Sure hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see many W’s in the ACC.

  15. In the first half, we didn’t even look into Kidd. Too busy driving and shooting 3s. He was not so well defended that we could not have passed. He set screens and rolled. He posted up. It isn’t that HE was lacking. We didn’t use him, In the second half, we made long lobs to him but he was often double-teamed and made CORRECT passes out to shooters. Yes, he was 1-for-5. 5 attempts across 2 halves? Not enough. And that was BECAUSE the guard(s) focused on their scoring.

    1. You mean Cattoor and Pedulla who combined to shoot 15-25 from the floor, 8-12 from 3 pt. and 7-10 from the free throw line? Those guards? Even Collins and Nickel combined for 6-12 and hit 3 3s. Our entire front line, including Kidd, seemed overmatched by the athleticism of FSU. They got shut down. And our ball handlers did as well at times. We lost the game on the 2nd half run they made when we were up 48-41. We could not get a defensive rebound. The had 10 more FG attempts the result of 6 fewer TOs and 4 more ORs. And of the 10 they made one more and that was the difference. If we had shot our usual 80% from the FT line that would have been 3 more points. But, we missed 4 down the stretch.

      1. This team is simply not well constructed. We have shortcomings at every position. Just don’t see this coming together, no evidence against anyone with a pulse. Love MY but gotta get some talent and ACC talent on the floor at all positions.

        1. ISU and Boise don’t have a pulse? Try checking their records before making that statement.

          1. Lets see what they are at year end, and that was quite some time ago when we beat them. Since then???

  16. I do not have this information in front of me,
    but was MY’s first season, the only time we had a winning record in Conference after 3 ACC games?

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