Virginia Tech Steamrolls Virginia In 75-41 Victory In Cassell Coliseum

Lynn Kidd and Virginia Tech crushed Virginia on Monday. (Jon Fleming)

Though Monday night’s rivalry clash in Cassell Coliseum started slow, Virginia Tech built up a head of steam and rolled Virginia in a 75-41 victory.

The 34-point margin was Tech’s second-largest win in the series behind a 105-70 performance on Feb. 18, 1961, in War Memorial Gym. It was also UVa’s third-worst loss in the Tony Bennett era (15 seasons) and its fewest points in the series since January 1942 (25), less than a month after Pearl Harbor.

“We were geared up and played a really, really good basketball game,” Tech head coach Mike Young said.

In a 65-57 loss in Charlottesville on Jan. 17, the Hokies (15-11, 7-8 ACC) didn’t match the energy of the Cavaliers (20-7, 11-5). They got pushed around and allowed 36 points on the interior while getting roughed up by one of the best defenses in the country.

Entering the rematch on ESPN’s Big Monday, they had two words written on their whiteboard, according to forward Robbie Beran: “Physical” and “tough.” And they played like it.

It started on the first possession. Lynn Kidd, who was 1-of-3 with two points and two rebounds in the previous meeting, took it to UVa big man Jordan Minor. He got a layup to fall, the first of his five baskets of the night (14 points, 5-5 FG, 4-4 FT, 7 rebounds) and set the tone with the way he attacked.

That was the trend all night long, and — combined with stellar defense — eventually wore UVa down.

Mylyjael Poteat and Virginia Tech didn’t let anything fly against the Cavaliers. (Jon Fleming)

The Hokies and Cavaliers were separated by just two points halfway through the first half when the home team flipped a switch. In very UVa fashion, Tech held its opponent scoreless for almost nine minutes (8:57) while making 8-of-10 field goals to blow the game out of the water.

Beran said Virginia’s infamous pack-line defense is like a boa constrictor with how it squeezes the life out of teams. The Hokies’ effort felt like that Monday.

 “Credit to our game plan, to our scout from the coaches,” Tech guard Tyler Nickel said. “We worked and worked and repped and repped their actions and what they do, and we went out there and executed probably the best we have all season.”

A layup from Sean Pedulla started the hot streak, followed by eight straight points — three field goals and two free throws — from Kidd, which forced Bennett to call timeout with 6:12 remaining in the half and Tech up 12, 26-14. At that point, it was a 10-0 run.

But after two more misses from the Cavaliers, the Hokies continued to pile on. Nickel (13 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds), MJ Collins (4 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Mylyjael Poteat (11 points, 5-of-7 FG) all got in on the action, capped off by a 3-pointer from Hunter Cattoor with 1:02 before half that made it a 22-point margin. Young called a 30-second timeout after that just to give his guys a chance to breathe.

“We haven’t done something like that yet this year. That was crazy,” Nickel said. “But it shows us and gives us confidence as far as what we’re capable of, especially on the defensive end. So against a great team like that, to go on a run like that, to have a performance like that, it’s huge for our confidence.”

Though Leon Bond finally stopped the Cavaliers’ bleeding with a basket right before intermission, the game felt over. Virginia looked lost and hopeless, unable to match Virginia Tech’s spirit on either end.

Hunter Cattoor and Virginia Tech could do no wrong on Monday night vs. UVa. (Jon Fleming)

The Hokies continued the trend in the second half, though it only outscored UVa by 14 points instead of 20. They were better in every single aspect in their fourth straight home win in the rivalry.

Young said his bunch was “onto it” and contested everything on the defensive end. He described the Hokies as “connected” and praised how they shared the ball offensively — 17 assists to just seven turnovers.

They shot 51 percent for the game while shooting 17 free throws (and making 13). In Charlottesville in January, they made just a 39 percent clip and attempted only four foul shots.

Tech attacked time after time on offense, racking up 24 points off turnovers, 30 points off the bench and 36 points in the paint. Virginia and Bennett — who always seem to have an answer for everything involving defending — couldn’t do anything about it.

“The ball got to multiple sides, the ball got into the post, offensive rebounded, we stuck it back to the perimeter to Hunter for a made three,” Young said. “We weren’t settling; we were driving, and consequently, you shoot more foul shots.”

But it was the defense that really set the tone for Virginia Tech. It was carved up by UVa’s two-man game in the first battle and allowed 30 points to the frontcourt trio of Minor, Blake Buchanan and Jacob Groves.

That was a matchup Young said the Hokies had to win this time around, and they did. They held those three to seven points and drew six fouls. Meanwhile, Kidd and Poteat combined for 25 and nine while making 10 of their 12 attempts.

Mylyjael Poteat and Lynn Kidd were terrific inside vs. UVa. (Jon Fleming)

“We have to win that matchup, it can’t be a toss-up,” Young said. “And I thought Lynn and Mylyjael, man, they were quick around the basket. … They were fired up. They were fired up and ready to play, and they play they did, very, very well.”

Isaac McKneely was the lone Cavalier to score in double figures (11). Reece Beekman’s seven was second-best. Tech forced 12 turnovers, UVa’s third-worst mark of the season. Some of them were simple ones, too, like Dante Harris dribbling the ball out of bounds after being surprised by Pedulla’s pressure on the sideline.

Everything just bounced the Hokies’ way. They put the game out of reach early and didn’t let UVa back into it. The rowdy, sold-out crowd, which chanted “Just like football” late in the game, only helped. And they bounced back from Saturday’s tough road loss at No. 7 North Carolina by absolutely dismantling their arch-nemesis, giving fans a blowout win they’ll cherish for quite some time.

“That was enjoyable,” Young said. “I’d like to see it repeatedly. Maybe not that outcome, but play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. We did that today.”

Box Score: Virginia Tech 75, Virginia 41 


12 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Intensity in all phases. Fundamentals like rebounding and quick feet on defense. They played offense loosely and stopped thinking so much; they played with trust and decisiveness. Great job. Now, coach Young, can you get them to continue this approach, even in the face of an opponent that is playing better than UVA did last night?

  2. I am still trying to convince myself that I actually saw that game last night! Wow! Always great to beat UVA, even better to smash them “Just Like Football!” Let’s get something going on the road, and build some momentum heading into the ACCT!

    I posted on TheSabre last night (where I had an apparently temporary ban before, and had not even attempted to post in quite a while after that, until last night’s *severe* *beatdown*), “For a team/school that puts VT down for caring about beating UVA… you are not very convincing.”

    Come to find out this morning, that post was taken down. Lol.

    So, I tried to post there again just a couple of minutes ago, and ask why.

    I got a message that said I was “Flagged as Perma Banned” until 08:24:00, GMT +0000, Sun May 30 2123!! Bwahahahaha!!! Thin skinned, elitist, cheese eatin’, Zima sippin’, whining, beret wearin’, surrender monkey dung beetles!!!

    (I *still* like them better than UNCheat, though!)


      1. Dislike less, maybe? Well, at least UVA has actual classes.

        Remember this:

        MyHammy – no students in the stands

        UNCheat – no students on the field

  3. Nice wrap up David, you really got your fingers on the pulse. Just wish the Hokie men cagers could bottle up this magic and drink it on the road. Like most fans I’m more than a bit jaded by this Jekyll and Hyde season performance to date, but tonight this team’s potential was on full display. Hey here’s an idea, with a nod to our Women cagers, let’s expect to win and play like it, even on the ACC road. Shall we?

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