When Virginia Tech and Penn State meet in the semifinals of the Charleston (S.C.) Classic on Friday, expect plenty of long-range shooting.
The Hokies (4-0) and Nittany Lions (4-0) are two of the most accurate and prolific 3-point-shooting teams in college basketball.
While Virginia Tech has launched 101 shots from beyond the arc and made 45 (44.5 percent), Penn State has taken 119 attempts and made 55 (46.2 percent).
Both teams advanced on Thursday with look-alike wins over mid-major programs.
Virginia Tech built a 20-point lead in the first half against Old Dominion but had to hold on after the break to escape with a 75-71 victory.
“We didn’t play great. I feel bad about it,” Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said. “A little lackadaisical, skittish. I didn’t think that this team could play as poorly as we played.”
Similarly, Penn State streaked to a 21-point lead in the first half and nearly saw it all disappear in the second half of a 73-68 win over Furman.
The Nittany Lions were led by Seth Lundy, who had 20 points and seven rebounds, and Jalen Pickett, who had 20 points and seven assists.
In a win on Monday against Butler, Pickett had the program’s first triple-double in 24 years. Making the feat more impressive is that he did it without committing a turnover.
Pickett is the senior leader of a veteran team that starts four seniors and a junior, with the first man off the bench being 3-point sniper Myles Dread, a fifth-year senior who has one of the most interesting stat lines in college basketball.
Of the 23 shots he has attempted this year, 22 have been 3-point tries. He has made 13 (59.1 percent).
“This is a tournament for the old guys,” Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “They can go from one thing to the next and know as soon as it’s over, let’s get to the next game.”
Virginia Tech’s top long-range marksmen are Grant Basile, who has made 13 of 25 (52 percent); Sean Pedulla, who has hit 12 of 25 (48 percent); and Hunter Cattoor, who has dropped 10 of 21 (47.6 percent).
The trio combined for seven 3-pointers and 43 points Thursday in the closel win over Old Dominion.
“You’ve got to be ready to compete and fight every possession,” Young said. “We better (on Friday). Penn State’s good.”
–Field Level Media