The 2023-2024 Virginia Tech men's basketball season has been one Hokie fans would like to forget at times.
As it stands, Tech is 13-10, with a 5-7 record in ACC play following a tough road loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-16, 3-10 ACC) on Saturday night, 74-66.
Coming into the contest at the Joyce Center in Indiana, the Fighting Irish were tied with Louisville at the bottom of the conference, with just two victories over ACC opponents. Notre Dame also entered the game on a seven-game losing streak.
That was until first year head coach Micah Shrewsberry and his team edged past the Hokies despite trailing 39-35 at halftime.
Notre Dame held Virginia Tech to just 27 second half points, leading the Hokies by double-digits at multiple points under the ten-minute mark.
Saturday night didn’t consist of great shooting from Tech, shooting 43 percent from the field, and 8-of-24 from beyond the arc; compared to Notre Dame’s 49.1 percent night, despite a 7-for-20 performance from three.
The Fighting Irish forced 11 turnovers on the Hokies, compared to just seven on their end of the floor despite the fact that they averaged over 13 entering this game.
Despite the overall poor showing for Virginia Tech, Hunter Cattoor (18 points - led team in scoring), Mylyjael Poteat (14 points and five boards off the bench), Robbie Beran (eight points and a season-high 13 rebounds), and Tyler Nickel (nine points off the bench - all in the first half) all made solid contributions for the Hokies.
It was an off night for junior guard Sean Pedulla, who had four points for most of the game before getting to 13 in garbage time, missing eight shots and turning the basketball over six times.
In addition to Pedulla, senior center Lynn Kidd had a disappointing game on the road - scoring just two points on three shots, and grabbing a single rebound while getting into foul trouble.
For Notre Dame, 5-foot-11 freshman guard Markus Burton led the team in scoring with 16 points (6/18 from the field), while adding eight assists, six steals, and four rebounds as well.
Other notables from the Fighting Irish include Braden Shrewsberry (12 points and five rebounds), 6-foot-10 big Kebba Njie (11 points and six rebounds), as well as freshman Carey Booth & junior Julian Roper II - who combined for 15 points off the bench.
The loss was Tech’s tenth of the season, as the Hokies road record drops to just 1-6.
Virginia Tech, led by head coach Mike Young, will most likely have to repeat what they did in the spring of the 2021-22, and win the ACC Tournament again if they want to reach March Madness.
The Hokies return to action on Tuesday night back at Cassell Coliseum going up against the Florida State Seminoles. Tip is set for 9 p.m.