Hokies Drop Third Straight Game In 74-66 Loss At Notre Dame

Robbie Beran and the Hokies didn’t have enough at Notre Dame. (Virginia Tech athletics)

The Hokies dropped their third straight game on Saturday night in the Midwest at Notre Dame, 74-66.

Virginia Tech (13-10, 5-7) was limited to 32 percent shooting in the second half and struggled to defend the Fighting Irish (8-16, 3-10), who hit a 54 percent clip over that same stretch.

After knocking down six of its 11 first-half 3-pointers, which helped it build up a 39-35 lead at intermission, it went cold, missing 11 of its 13 in the latter 20 minutes. At the same time, it didn’t have an answer for Notre Dame’s Markus Burton, who had 16 assists and eight rebounds. Defensively, he stole the ball six times.

Burton, a 5-foot-11 freshman, controlled the pace. On the other side, Sean Pedulla did in spurts, but the majority of his 13 points came too late. In the first 37:25 of the game, he had just four points on 1-of-5 shooting. Though he finished the game 3-of-7, his contributions came as the Irish were pulling away.

Hunter Cattoor led Tech with a game-high 18 points on a season-high seven field goals. He was 4-of-11 from behind the arc, though after nailing his first two and getting off to a 3-of-5 start, he finished 1-of-6.

Mylyjael Poteat was Tech’s most important player down low. He scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting while grabbing five rebounds. Robbie Beran was very good, too, with eight points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Tyler Nickel chipped in nine points, all of which came in the first half.

However, the Hokies didn’t have enough across the board. They got plenty of good looks that didn’t fall. MJ Collins, despite his team-high five assists and three rebounds, had just two points on 1-of-6 shooting. Lynn Kidd was a non-factor with two points on three shots.

Virginia Tech controlled the first half, but Notre Dame turned the game on its head after halftime. After Tech ripped off an 11-0 run over two-plus minutes, ND scored two buckets to cut the margin to four at the break.

Sean Pedulla and the Hokies have dropped three consecutive games now. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Where things went south for Tech was when the Irish scored nine unanswered points to begin the half. Once they snatched back the lead on Braeden Shewsberry’s trey, the opening basket of the half, it felt like Tech was hanging on by a thread.

The Hokies were outscored 39-27 in the second half, in part because the Irish were 4-of-8 from downtown and had just eight total turnovers. They tied the game up at 49 with 11:28 remaining on a layup from Poteat, but a 9-0 run from Notre Dame over two minutes pushed them away for good. They never drew closer than six points again.

Tech entered Saturday with an OK résumé, though one that needed some quality wins. It did not yet have a loss to a bad team; its trip to Indiana changed that.

The Irish entered the game No. 168 in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings. In the Mike Young era, it’s up there with Tech’s worst losses. It now has four defeats to teams below 160 in that span: No. 179 Boston College (2019-20), No. 161 Georgia Tech (2022-23), No. 170 Boston College twice (2022-23) and No. 168 Notre Dame (2023-24).

After sitting at 5-4 in the ACC two weeks ago, the Hokies dropped two Quadrant 1 opportunities vs. then-No. 7 Duke and at Miami. While they still had a long shot at making some noise in March, the loss to Notre Dame effectively kills their chances.

Virginia Tech returns home on Tuesday for a rematch with Florida State, a team it lost to 77-74 in Tallahassee on Jan. 6. It’s a 9 p.m. ET tip on ESPNU. A trip to No. 3 North Carolina (Sat., Feb. 17) follows before it hosts Virginia on Big Monday (Feb. 19).

Box Score: Notre Dame 74, Virginia Tech 66

27 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Not enough scorers. By comparison, look at the women’s team. Liz Kitley has an, “off” night but someione else steps up. Men’s team is too dependent on Cattoor and Pedulla for points.

  2. Take a look on YT or elsewhere at the post game pressers with CMY. It’s always the same – bent over, exasperated, head down, low energy. Funny thing is, it’s the same whether he wins or loses – i can never tell what the outcome of the game was if I just watch the post game presser before seeing the score.
    That energy, or lack thereof, bleeds into the team. This team has a terrible time finishing games. Often a respectable lead moving into the 2nd half, and coming out flat, making poor decisions, forced shots.
    CMY seems like a good guy and I feel bad criticizing but it’s apparent to me that his general demeanor and energy levels aren’t resonating well with 18-22 year olds. I’m in my late 50s btw and work with lots of younger folks, and I get the challenge, but this ship has already sailed into dangerous waters. The question is whether Whit, who I’ve never been a fan of given the Fuente debacle and his inaction until the ship ran around, will make a rapid enough decision to protect the future.

  3. Has CMY’s assistant, Byers, added anything to the program? Did not come here as a defensive coach, offense has not improved for sure; and I don’t know that he has landed a single really good recruit. Do we not have the money to hire better assistants?

  4. Does anyone know what our men’s basketball NIL is compared to other schools in the ACC? I saw a comment on another board that nationally it was below that of Providence College but I have not been able to find any NIL database by college.

  5. Forgot to talk about MJ Collin’s. Athletic, hustles a lot and plays pretty good defense. Just can’t hit a basket. The last several games, if he could have hit a few baskets we would have been in the game. Is he really the best scoring option we have ?
    He has the worst scoring percentage on the teams.

    1. I’ve noticed the last few games that Collins is taking a lot of very contested shots which affects his shooting numbers. Open 3’s and drives to the bucket are his strength.

  6. Honestly, Hokie fans deserve better. CMY is going to win 15 to 20 games a year and that’s it. Just another Seth Greenberg or Don Devoe. Start the search now and pay the price. Just get an ACC quality coach that can recruit. It really will pay off. Just look at women’s basketball (sell out today) and softball.

    1. VT is a very tough basketball job – always has been. It doesn’t matter if we had the bucks to get some name coach, they won’t come to VT. CMY is a darn good coach and is most likely the best we can get for a while.

  7. Why do we give CMY such a pass? Because of his “aw shucks” nature. Hasn’t recruited well and we are slowly headed back to pre-Buzz days.

  8. I had to chuckle when it appeared we were trying to run the same pick and roll as Amoore and Kitley. The ball was late getting there or mishandled. Not a phenomenally sound team.

  9. Can’t bear to watch a full game anymore. I switch back and forth. It seems every time I switch back Pedula is making an incredibly bad pass that didn’t need to be made. I like the young man but how many turnovers has he made this year? Well, somebody has to be at the bottom. This year it would be us. We find ways to lose.

  10. The dumb turnovers. live by the 3 or die by it. Bigs need to rebound..This is not a good team unless they are making the 3s

  11. All Hokies have become accustomed to this type of performance. CMY is a low major conference coach and can coach low major talent. His demeanor is just how his team plays. No fire or emotion. If the Hokies have talent at all five positions then the team plays with a workman like consistency. When the talent is lacking or is marginal they play in spirts and struggle against other squads that play at a higher intensity. He has lost talent to the transfer portal that would have helped his teams. Why? Look at who has joined the Hokies through the portal. Adequate talent that just underperforms. His staff is looking for another Keve Aluma, Justyn Mutts & Anaheim Alleyne to fit his system and they are not out there. Maybe it’s time to replace the system.

  12. Frustrating game, frustrating season. As a long-time Hokie fan, I’ve seen the ups and downs and try to take them in stride, but a loss in a must-win game to one of the worst teams in ncaam bb is hard to see this season as anything but another down. Ugh. Thanks for the analysis, David! Have your ears recovered from the trombone section of NCST? lol!

  13. vtgriff, I fully agree with your assessment. Our talent level is for sure in the bottom 15% of the ACC and until we can recruit and KEEP better talent, games like last night will happen more frequently.
    I really like CMY, his love for VT and the NRV, but he needs to get better at recruiting or having a staff that recruits better, WE are What we Are.

  14. This. Is. Pathetic. (Apologies David; I can’t even bring myself to read your usual good reporting.) Just as I suspected he would, although it took him several years to manage it, MY has turn VT men’s basketball into a Wofford/lower-mid-major level program. Even the most orange-and-maroon color blind Tech fan should now recognize the 2022 tourney run for the fluke that is was. Whit, is a 13-19 (5-15) record enough to get rid of this guy? Please do it before this program sinks down to James Johnson territory, if God forbid we’re not already there.

  15. Bad, BAd, BAD! There are no good excuses for this one. What to do?

    Collins offensive productivity is zip. I was in favor of Nickel coming off the bench & bringing his assertiveness, but maybe its time to start him. Kidd, where were you, man?

  16. “Kills their chances”? Yea, well as an at large? Of course. Win the ACCT? LOL if you want to but who thought VT was going to win the ACCT 2 years ago? OK, probably not happening, but I hope you can get some comments from CMY. After last 2 losses, he said “Things will get better”. Hummm. When?

    1. Get better is coach speak. Everyone knows the issue with this team from day 1….the talent is not great. This all goes back to very poor recruiting and thinking you can recruit the ACC like you did a low major conference. CMY can coach, but he has set himself up for failure with his roster. We can come out and scorch 3’s on any given night and win. We can play in Cassell, which ACC players have said is the toughest venue in the ACC, and have incredible home court advantage and win. But the reaility is you can’t expect to be scorching hot on 3’s every night. Killer defense is always in the gm (see UVA)..But we are limited in being able to consistently attack the rim, consistently guard ACC level players, consistently rebound and consistently protect the ball against more athletic defenders. Outside of Cassell, we are a bad team. The fans that blindly defend CMY regardless of the outcomes will even be taken aback by this. I like the guy, he won’t lose his job, but this all goes back to recruiting..

      1. To think we can get top 100 talent on a regular basis, to Blacksburg for basketball is completely misguided. We are getting EXACTLY who we can get. The sooner people get/understand that, the better they’ll be.

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