Virginia Tech Beats Boston College For Second Straight ACC Win

Hunter Cattoor and Virginia Tech picked up their second straight ACC win on Tuesday vs. Boston College. (Jon Fleming)

On Tuesday night in Cassell Coliseum, Virginia Tech beat Boston College for the first time in the Mike Young era, 76-71, good for the team’s second straight ACC win.

“It’s about adversity,” Tech guard MJ Collins said after the win. “Teams are going to make their runs just like we made ours. But we stick together as a team, and we can pretty much beat anybody when we’re connected.”

Coming off a win over NC State on Saturday, the Hokies (12-7, 4-4 ACC) were down three players against the Eagles (11-8, 2-6): point guard Brandon Rechsteiner (eye), forward Mekhi Long (knee) and wing John Camden (sick). Rechsteiner was poked in the eye during practice on Friday, forcing him to miss part of the victory in Raleigh, while Long is experiencing knee soreness.

As a result, Tech played just a seven-man rotation against Boston College, but it overcame that adversity to get back to .500 in league play.

“A lot,” said Young when asked how concerning it was to be without so many pieces. “… We just had to find a way and we did that.”

The Hokies led for over 35 minutes in front of a decent crowd in Blacksburg, one powered by the Cassell Guard for the first time since December. They were good in just about every area against the Eagles, with the exception of rebounding. They were dominated on the glass, 35-22, but played good defense (BC had 15 turnovers), shot the ball well (49%), took care of the rock (11 turnovers) and made plays when needed.

Sean Pedulla and Virginia Tech made some clutch free throws when needed against BC. (Jon Fleming)

Though Boston College shot 50 percent (30-of-60), it sputtered at times in the first half (45%) before really catching fire in the second (55%). However, the Hokies built up an early cushion behind 61 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes and took an 11-point lead into intermission, 44-33. Most importantly, they kept BC at bay for the remainder of the night.

Slowing down the seven-foot Quentin Post was key. He entered averaging 17 points per game but was held to just 15 — eight in the first, seven in the second. It’s not the first time the Hokies limited an opponent’s go-to post player in the past few weeks; Clemson’s PJ Hall had just 11 points, Miami’s Norchad Omier posted 14 and NC State’s D.J. Burns scored eight. They’re averaging 20, 17 and 12 this season, respectively. That’s a credit to the work Lynn Kidd and Mylyjael Poteat have done down low.

“To limit Quinten to 15 is big,” Young said. “That’s a great job, and we were dialed up on him now. We really wanted to take away his three, got one down in the second half. I thought Lynn and Mylyjael did a really good job on him and our team did a good job in giving him something to think about with that ballside guard digging down on him a little bit.”

Devin McGlockton, the sophomore who cooked Tech for 32 points and nine rebounds in two meetings last season, was dynamic again on Tuesday. He recorded 19 points and 10 rebounds, both game-highs. Claudell Harris joined him in double figures with 14 points. The Hokies made everything difficult, however, and forced enough turnovers — Young credited his team’s activity on that end, specifically how it deflected so many passes — to win.

On the other end, Virginia Tech shot 49 percent from the field and had four double-digit scorers, led by Hunter Cattoor’s 17 points. He had three rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block, too, in his record-setting 137th game in the maroon and orange, surpassing Malcolm Delaney’s previous record for games played at Tech.

Cattoor originally committed to Young at Wofford out of high school but followed him to Blacksburg in the summer of 2019. He was the staff’s first commitment, and 1,326 points later, he holds the program record for 3-pointers made (with 296 and counting). Among those signature moments is March 12, 2022, when he had a 31-point performance against Duke to lead the Hokies to an ACC Tournament championship.

Hunter Cattoor has played the most games in Virginia Tech men’s basketball history. (Jon Fleming)

“It’s pretty cool, especially the whole kind of journey that I’ve had,” Cattoor said. “And I wasn’t supposed to be here. Early in my senior year, I thought I was going to be playing in the SoCon, so to have the most games at an ACC school is pretty cool and I feel super blessed.

Cattoor played a large role in Tuesday’s win over Boston College, though he had a ton of help. All seven players chipped in, from Sean Pedulla’s 16 points, MJ Collins’ 11 and Kidd’s 10 to Robbie Beran’s nine, Poteat’s eight or Tyler Nickel’s five. The scoring was well distributed, as were the 16 assists. Pedulla had a team-best four but Cattoor, Collins and Nickel each finished with three. On top of that, Tech turned it over just 11 times, a pleasant drop from the 20 at NC State.

Though the Hokies were crushed on the boards, they made up for it at the free throw line. They took 16 foul shots against BC and made every single attempt, including six in the final 2:02 when the game was close. Pedulla, Beran and Cattoor hit two each to help them pull away. It’s the first time Tech was perfect from the stripe on at least 16 attempts since March 4, 2009, vs. No. 2 North Carolina when it was 17-of-17.

Down the stretch, those moments were crucial. In the final six minutes, the Eagles missed two front ends of one-and-ones (McGlockton and Post) and Harris missed the first of two shots with 15 seconds remaining. That was a potential six points that BC did not receive; head coach Earl Grant said the fans had an impact.

“We have a very good free throw shooting team,” Grant said. “The crowd was loud and helped us miss a couple shots.”

At the same time, the Hokies were great in those situations. Beran’s two in a two-point game were enormous. As of Tuesday night, they’re the second-best foul shooting team in the country at 79.9 percent, trailing only Villanova’s 81.8 percent.

Sean Pedulla’s clutch shot was huge in swinging momentum in Virginia Tech’s direction. (Jon Fleming)

No play was larger than Pedulla’s three as the shot clock was winding down with 4:03 left. At that point, Virginia Tech led by two, 65-63, but had not scored in three-plus minutes. Boston College had a solid defensive possession, but Pedulla pulled a rabbit out of his hat and got the long 3-pointer down from a few steps behind the arc, which swung all momentum back Tech’s way.

Young joked that Pedulla is always assertive and is “all gas, there’s not a brake on that boy,” but it’s not the first time this season the junior took an important shot and made it. Against Iowa State in Orlando in November, he scored eight of Tech’s final 14 points over the final 5:26, including two treys, to propel his team to a win. And that’s just one example.

“I grew up watching Trae Young and Steph Curry. Trae Young was from my area,” said Pedulla, an Edmond, Okla., native. “… Kind of a part of my game that I try to have a little bit whenever I need it. Any time where there’s four-and-a-half on the shot clock and you have nowhere to go, you have to take those shots, so it’s nice to have that in your bag.”

The Hokies celebrated the victory, and rightfully so. “Any of these ACC wins, I don’t give a damn who it is, what it is, where it is, sign me up,” Young said. However, this one meant a tad bit more considering 0-5 record against the Eagles entering the game. With the win, he’s now beaten every conference opponent across his five years.

Virginia Tech sits at 12-7 overall, 4-4 in the league, heading into Saturday’s clash with Georgia Tech in Blacksburg, its second home game in a span of three. No. 12 Duke follows the Yellow Jackets on Monday.

“Let’s continue to get better,” Young said. “We got better today. We fought through some adversity with those guys down. Let’s come back and play a quality ballgame on Saturday.”

Box Score: Virginia Tech 76, Boston College 71 

32 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I also like MJ bringing the ball up to help take the pressure off the other guards. Pedulla and Catoor can then focus more on making offensive plays.

  2. It seems to me like Lynn Kidd didn’t play that much. Is he banged up, in the coach’s doghouse, or maybe I am wrong on his minutes


  4. David nice article but you indicated Cattoor’s record occurred in the maroon and orange but the team wore black last night. Only reason I bring it up is many fans dislike the non-school color uniforms and it has been a topic on the boards a few times. Thank you for the terrific coverage.

      1. As a VTCC alum, I like the occasional black-colored unis, and, tye gray ones as well.

  5. Typo, I’m almost sure: “all gas, there’s not a break on that boy.” I’m sure you’re right; nothing is broken. But it is usually “all gas, no BRAKE.”
    Yeah. I’m that guy.

  6. In the last 10 minutes or so, the refs seemed to take an excessive amount of time setting up for Hokie free throws.

  7. They slowed down Post, who scored 15 but was averaging 17. LOL. OK, I guess you could say they slowed him down?


    1. Stats don’t always paint the full picture. Hokies got Post into foul trouble in the first half which led to VT building a good lead that was never overcome. Post got going in the second half, hence the 15, AND it wasn’t enough for them to fully comeback. They disrupted his impact for a full 40 meaning they slowed him down

      1. Well the 28 wasn’t mentioned & I wasn’t inclined to check BC game by game stats, but sure…

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