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Hot First Half Shooting Launches Virginia Tech to 71-50 Victory Over Valparaiso

Hunter Cattoor 1 VT CSU 2022 ES
Photo Credit: Erin Smith

After some atypical struggles from three-point range over the past few games, Virginia Tech found a beacon of hope that their shooting slump was coming to an end in the first half against the Valparaiso Beacons. That first half sharp shooting proved to be more than enough for the Hokies to cruise to victory.

Virginia Tech beat Valparaiso 71-50 to improve to 7-3 on the season with Valpo falling to 4-6. Next up for the Hokies is their last notable test of non-conference play against a quality Vermont program that has won seven-straight America East regular season titles and reached four of the last six NCAA Tournaments by winning the America East conference tournament.

After struggling from three-point range over the past few games, Tech really found a spark in the first half against the Beacons going 6-12 from three-point range and 12-21 from the field overall in the opening 20 minutes. This came amidst some inconsistent ball movement for the Hokies who had 10 assist on those 12 buckets but also had 11 turnovers, with some of that likely being due to Sean Pedulla being out due to a foot injury.

Tech progressively cleaned things up in the second half with only four turnovers in the final 20 minutes. However, they cooled off significantly in the second half shooting only 11-32 from the field including 4-15 from three-point range.

Hunter Cattoor looked like himself in this game with a game-high 19 points on 5-9 shooting from the field including 3-6 from three-point range plus a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line. He also had three assists working some as the de facto point guard with Pedulla out along with having three rebounds and one steal.

Lynn Kidd did typical Lynn Kidd things with 14 points on 4-7 from the field plus a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line along with having six rebounds. Mylyjael Poteat also provided some great minutes off the bench with six points and six rebounds in 13 minutes of action.

Tyler Nickel found his shooting form going 4-7 from three-point range on his way to having 12 points in what was a good get right game for the UNC transfer. Mekhi Long made his first start at Virginia Tech and did well with six points and six rebounds plus a +19 in plus/minus that was second only to Cattoor.

Brandon Rechsteiner made his first career start with Pedulla out, and had an up-and-down game with five points, three assists, one rebound, and one steal in 28 minutes. The experience is definitely valuable for Rechsteiner but if Pedulla is out next week, the Hokies will need a little more from the point guard spot.

Robbie Beran had his best offensive game as a Hokie with nine points on 3-6 shooting including 2-4 from three-point range plus three assists, four rebounds, and one block. MJ Collins cooled off in this game with no points on 0-4 shooting though he did have one rebound and one assist. Jaydon Young had a quiet day with three rebounds and one steal while John Camden and Pat Wessler each added two rebounds. Walk-on Connor Venable had a rebound while fellow walk-on Michael Ward also got on the floor late.

We will have more as this story develops.

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