Virginia Tech pulls away from in-state foe Richmond

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 20 Mar, 2024 at 03:22 AM

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Pedulla had 17 points and seven assists, sparking slow-starting Virginia Tech to a 74-58 victory over in-state foe Richmond in the opening round of the NIT on Tuesday in Blacksburg, Va.

Lynn Kidd contributed 20 points, eight rebounds and two emphatic slam dunks on feeds from Pedulla in the final four minutes as the third-seeded Hokies (19-14) advanced to a round-of-16 game at second-seeded Ohio State on Saturday.

MJ Collins hit 4 of 6 shots from beyond the arc while finishing with 15 points and six rebounds for the, Hokies who recovered after missing 15 of their first 16 shots and falling behind by nine points.

Virginia Tech was on target the rest of the way, ending up at 48.1 percent from the floor and making seven of its final 10 shots from deep. Kidd went 9 of 10 from the floor, with all of his field goals coming from in the paint.

Isaiah Bigelow tallied 15 points and seven rebounds for Atlantic 10 co-regular-season champion Richmond (23-10), which finished the season on a three-game losing skid.

Dji Bailey added 15 points for the Spiders, who failed to cash-in on their rare opportunity to take on an in-state power conference school. Although it was the 109th meeting of the schools, it was their first matchup since 2009.

The Hokies held A-10 co-player of the year Jordan King scoreless in the first half. King finished with six points on 2-of-9 shooting in the final game of his college career.

After its woeful start, Virginia Tech made 13 of its next 16 shots.

The Hokies closed the first half on a 20-6 run, which included 3-pointers from Hunter Cattoor and Collins and three inside baskets by Mylyjael Poteat as the Hokies gained a 33-28 lead at the break.

Early in the second half, Virginia Tech took a seven-point lead as Kidd bolted to the basket for a two-fisted slam.

However, the Spiders used full-court pressure to disrupt the Hokies' offense and answer with a six-point run to move on top 39-36.

Virginia Tech took control late as Collins drained two treys in a span of 1:31 which put the Hokies up by nine. Cattoor followed with another trey to stretch the advantage to 64-52 with 4:52 left.

--Field Level Media