Virginia Tech Drops Second Q1 Game Of Week At Miami, 82-74

Sean Pedulla and the Hokies couldn’t close out Saturday’s game at Miami. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Virginia Tech let another opportunity slip away on Saturday in Miami, losing 82-74 despite leading for 21 minutes.

The Hokies (13-9, 5-6 ACC) had a 10-point cushion with 11 minutes remaining but couldn’t hang on. The Hurricanes (15-7, 6-5) outscored them 35-17 from that point on, which included runs of 13-2 and 15-2.

Tech controlled much of the contest but seemed to fall apart down the stretch. The second-best free throw shooting team was just 7-of-14 from the line while turning it over six times in the second half (11 for the game), including three from point guard Sean Pedulla in a span of 39 seconds, two of which led to easy Miami baskets.

A nine-point game at intermission in Tech’s favor, it felt like Mike Young’s team would coast to a crucial win as the second half wore on. But the ‘Canes put the foot on the pedal for four minutes and ripped off a 9-0 run, a span where Tech was 1-of-6. They snatched back the lead, too, with 6:47 remaining, which forced Young to call a timeout.

While the Hokies punched back with a 6-0 run, which swung the game back in their favor with five minutes to play, it didn’t hold for long. Then a 65-60 game, they faltered from there. Miami put up 22 points and held them to just nine.

It seemed like everything went wrong for Tech. Though it finished 48 percent from the floor and held the ‘Canes to 45 percent, the second-half marks — 50 percent from VT, 56 percent from Miami — weren’t good enough when combined with a minus-eight disparity on the boards (36 to 28) and such a poor clip at the foul line. In crunch time, the Hokies missed four of their five free throws and were 2-of-6 with four miscues.

Virginia Tech had four players finish in double figures, led by Pedulla’s 21 points. He also had five rebounds and five assists to seven turnovers. Hunter Cattoor scored 19 (with three assists) while Tyler Nickel and Robbie Beran had 10 each. Nickel had two boards while Beran had three (and three assists).

Hunter Cattoor scored 19 for Virginia Tech at Miami. (Virginia Tech athletics)

On the inside, Lynn Kidd and Mylyjael Poteat combined for 14 points (eight and six, respectively). Kidd also grabbed 11 rebounds.

Miami had five double-digit scorers, paced by Norchad Omier and Kyshawn George, who had 16 each. Omier added seven boards while playing the final 12 minutes with four fouls, something Tech quite use to its advantage. He eventually picked up his fifth with 1:15 remaining, but his team led by seven when he left the floor. George, a freshman, was also impactful with five rebounds and four steals.

Matthew Cleveland scored 15 for the Hurricanes while Nijel Pack and Bensley Joseph chipped in 14 apiece. All of Joseph’s contributions came in the second half. In a game where the Hokies defended Pack (4-of-15) and others pretty well, Joseph really got Miami back in the game.

The loss puts the Hokies behind .500 in the conference again with an off-week upcoming before a trip to Notre Dame on Saturday, Feb. 10. After dropping a Quadrant 1 game vs. No. 7 Duke on Monday (77-67), they needed the game in Coral Gables to boost their résumé but didn’t get it. They’re running out of those kind of opportunties — only trips to No. 3 North Carolina (Feb. 17) and Pitt (Feb. 24) are Q1 games as it stands.

Box Score: Miami 82, Virginia Tech 74 

33 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. This team doesn’t handle pressure, or a press, well. Not sure what’s up with Pedulla. We’re up 65-60 late, with the ball, and he seemed to turn his brain off. 3 TO’s and a slew of missed FT’s. And nobody else stepped up.

    1. I think the guy is worn out! You play 38 minutes under full court pressure from a quick bigger player.

      1. Not sure about that. Yes, it’s tiring, but he’s made the same mistakes early in games too. Need to play Rechsteiner more to ensure Pedulla has the juice at the end of games. This team needs composure and a killer instinct at the end of games. The talent is there, even though some here don’t think so.

  2. Easily the most frustrating loss of the season. No one to blame this go round except our team- a must win game
    that turned into a complete giveaway to the canes. Even the NIT at this point looks like a question mark. So sad, to say the least.

    1. Pedulla had a good scoring night. But, the TOs got him again. Thought he had fixed that. If the defense speeds him up, he is vulnerable. I think his thoughts are right. That is when facing man to man defense, if you can beat your man you can create an advantage. But, he isn’t quite quick skilled enough to avoid TOs doing that.

  3. For me, it never, ever feels like VT is going to coast to a victory, no matter how big a halftime lead may be.

  4. Two completely different halves. Can’t seem to play without giving up huge runs where they allow other teams to take over. Turnovers are absolutely killing us. Bottom third team at best.

    1. It was the second half of the Second half that just – Sucked!
      Missed buckets and turnovers, even though they shot 50% for the half, da U hit 55%. They went 3 off the bench, but I think Pedulla and Hunter were getting gassed.
      GO HOKIES!!!

  5. Gota learn to finish. Seem to lack the mental toughness at the end of games. CMY has to be pulling his hair out on the turn overs and periodic lazy passes.

    1. 100%.

      I don’t know what it takes to get a team to have that killer instinct and not take their foot of the opponents throat so to speak, but this team doesn’t have that. It’s unfortunate that they somehow subliminally have this feeling they are going to win…and then they ease up and lose. The only feeling they should have is the pure hatred of losing and the fear of potentially losing causes them to be relentless the entire game.

  6. Free Throws – VT 7-14, Miami 27-29. Quite a disparity. First half seemed to be called evenly. Second half, so many things were different. We had a good first half, but could not finish, a recent pattern. are we not making adjustments or just running out of gas?

    1. Free Throws don’t represent the disparity in foul calls. The actual number of fouls do. Plus – making one & ones and two shot fouls. It seemed like one of the better officiated games – and I don’t say that very often.

  7. Not only is Pedulla tasked with being the primary ball handler, he’s also tasked with being the primary play maker. Think about it…what happens if Pedulla gets hurt and is out for an extended period? This team would struggle mightily to score and losses would accumulate! He’s got too much responsibility.

    1. I coukld not agree more. He is over-tasked. Who do we have to spell him? Kid played 36′, Who played ther 1 during the 4′ Pedulla didn’t play? What happened scoring-wise when he wasn’t in the game?

  8. Padulla must be one of the most exasperating players MY has ever coached. Can be so good at times and then inexplicably bad with the turnovers. Just have to live with, I guess.

    1. Not to mention missing 2 free throws, getting his shot blocked by a much taller player, and then committing a foul during a very critical point late in the game when the score was closer..

      Not sold on MY and this guard oriented offense at all.

      1. Apparently you haven’t been a long-time AAC observer: it’s a guard-oriented league and always had been.

        1. Bacot at UNC plays guard? Really?

          BTW, VT plays in the ACC not the AAC and you are right, I am not a long-time AAC observer.

          And never will be.

          1. The ACC has long been known as a Guard league. Bacot is one player on one team. Larranaga not only has long run a Guard system, he started four yesterday. Seth’s key players were guards. So were Buzz’s. Did you ever see Jethro Tull? I did.

            1. 3 times I have seen Tull. House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. At the Wolf Trap, and in Norfolk at the Scope I think it was. Now it is basically Ian and whoever he has assembled for the tour.

              You are just wrong about he ACC being a guard oriented league. Duke as the big man (F, hard to spell correctly or pronounce), Clemson has their big man. NBA is guard oriented but not the ACC.

              But your post was that the AAC was guard oriented. It may be. I don’t watch AAC games. My point of being not sold on the MY guard oriented offense is this, Yeah, occasionally you win that game you don’t expect to win (NCSU this year, for example), and occasionally you go on a streak where you suddenly win several games you weren’t supposed to win (like the ACC tournament but, remember, that started off with a last second miracle basket against Clemson-it could have been another first round and out game), but to me, you LOSE a good many games you should not lose (like at home to Miami and on the road to them, getting trounced by WF, etc.).

              It is not very consistent and when it is consistent it is usually on the losing side.

              1. I didn’t see the game but checked the stats. You saw what I did. TO’s and steals were even, 11 and 7. We were outrebounded by 8, 36:28. But the per stats, the game was lost @ the Foul Line: Miami was 27 for 29, we were 7 for 14. If Miami only made half of their FT’s and made 12 of ours, they still win. Miami went 9 deep, we 7. Only Cattoor w/38′ played more than Pedulla, 36′ Who spelled him? How many To’s did he commit in the Duke game? One. Team, 4. Duke 14. Blaming Pedulla is not only getting old, stats don’t support that argument. It’s time for our fans to get off his back. He’s being treated the same way Sean Glennon was: unfaiirly. Not worthy of our school.

              2. I saw Jetro Tull in 1968, when they emerged from obscurity. When did you see them? I was done w/JT after, “Benefit.”

                “AAC” a misprint,

                I’ve followed the ACC since the early 1960’s. Are you going to discount my 60 years of observing ACC basketball? How long have you been following the ACC? Historically, it’s been a Guard-oriented league. Period. Yes, Filipowski is a “Big,” and a good one. But the list of ACC backcourt/wing players is long. Let’s look at it another way. How would you characterize the b10, the B12 relative to the ACC? Me? The b10 is a power league, big, burly players, “bangers.” The B12 is a fast-paced league, just like B12 football. Forget about UCLA. That was a different era The BE, is an “urban” league. By comparison, the ACC is a finesse league. The knock on Ralph Sampson is that he wasn’t physical enough. Compare him to his teammate, Olajuwon. Sorry, I’ve beem following the ACC for 60 years. It’s always been predominately a “Guard” league. Lefty Dreisell’s teams were athletic but only won a single ACC title. They consistently lost the big games to less athletic teams from Duke and UNC.

  9. Frustrating loss. Yelling-at-the-television frustrating in the final seven minutes. Now get ready for ND, which is absolutely must win.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but not only did Rechsteiner not play, but I didn’t see him on the bench.

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