0-5, that was the record for Virginia Tech under Mike Young against Boston College entering tonight's matchup with the Eagles. It didn't matter who was on the team BC or who was coaching it for that matter, the Eagles simply seemed to have the Hokies' number for the first four years of the Mike Young era.
That changed tonight as the Hokies took care of business at home to finally get a win over the Eagles.
Virginia Tech beat Boston College 76-71 to improve to 12-7 on the season including 4-4 in ACC play while the Eagles fell to 12-8 on the season including 2-6 in ACC play.
This was a tale of two halves for the Hokies offensively as Virginia Tech was firing on all cylinders in the first half going 17-28 (60.8%) from the field including 6-12 from three-point range plus 4-4 from the free-throw line. Tech cooled off in the second half shooting 9-25 (36.0%) from the field while BC found their offensive rhythm going 16-29 (55.2%) from the field.
However, Sean Pedulla proved to be a closer down the stretch scoring seven of the final 11 points for the Hokies. This is far from the first time we've seen Pedulla be a closer with the junior point guard making big shots to push Tech to victory against Boise State, Iowa State, and NC State prior to tonight's performance.
Part of the story revolves around how sharp Tech was defensively, especially at forcing turnovers. BC had 15 turnovers on the night, a majority of which came in the first half with the Hokies turning that into 19 points while they only had 11 turnovers with BC turning that into 10 points. This came against a BC team that entered tonight's game ranked eighth best in offensive turnover rate according to Torvik.
Tech also did a great job at the free-throw line going a perfect 16-16 from the free-throw line, the best free-throw shooting night that the Hokies have had since going 17-17 against North Carolina on March 4th, 2009. That free-throw shooting came in stark contrast to BC, with the Eagles going 5-9 at the line while missing multiple front-end free throws of one-and-ones.
One area where Tech did struggle tonight was around the rim as BC outrebounded the Hokies 35-22 including 13-5 on the offensive glass, which they turned into an 11-4 second chance points advantage. BC also outscored the Hokies 44-28 in the paint even as Lynn Kidd and Mylyjael Poteat combined for 18 points.
Tech's backcourt stars were critical in this one as Hunter Cattoor led the Hokies with 17 points on 4-6 shooting including 3-5 from three-point range plus a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line. He also added three rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block in what was a strong night for him on both ends of the floor. His strong performance came on the night where he became the VT Men's Basketball record holder for the most games played in during a career.
Turnovers were once again an issue for Sean Pedulla as he had six on the night, but the Hokies' point guard made some big shots when Tech needed him to having 16 on 5-13 shooting including seven of Tech's final 11 points. He also had six rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block.
MJ Collins had one of his best offensive games of the season with 11 points on 5-11 shooting plus three assists, one rebound, one steal, and only one turnover in 33 minutes of work. Lynn Kidd was the fourth Hokie in double figures with 10 points, five rebounds, two steals, and one block.
Robbie Beran had 8+ points for the fifth-straight game putting up nine on 3-5 from the field plus two rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Mylyjael Poteat had eight points, four rebounds, and one block off the bench while Tyler Nickel had five points and three assists with no turnovers.
Tech had a chunk of their bench missing with Tech announcing pregame that Mekhi Long was out due to a knee injury, Brandon Rechsteiner was out due to an eye injury, and John Camden was out due to illness.
This win may not boost the resume in the traditional sense, but it does maintain a strength of Virginia Tech's resume, the lack of a bad loss outside of the top two quadrants. Combine that with getting over the hump finally against BC given the weird struggles that the Hokies have had against the Eagles and there is plenty to be pleased with even if it got a little dicey down the stretch of this one.