Virginia Tech pulls away late to defeat NC State

Jan 17, 2024; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Mike Young looks on from the bench against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Hunter Cattoor scored 19 points and Virginia Tech hit a late hot stretch to defeat North Carolina State 84-78 on Saturday afternoon at Raleigh, N.C.

Lynn Kidd’s 14 points and six rebounds, Sean Pedulla’s 13 points and eight assists, reserve Tyler Nickel’s 12 points and Robbie Beran’s 11 points were also boosts for the Hokies (11-7, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who snapped a two-game skid.

Casey Morsell racked up 19 points and DJ Horne had 16 points, but NC State (13-5, 5-2) was thwarted in its bid for a third consecutive triumph. Jayden Taylor added 15 points. Morsell was 9-for-10 on free throws as part of the Wolfpack’s 20-for-24 shooting on foul shots.

A victory would have given NC State its best seven-game record in ACC play since the 1973-74 season.

The Hokies made eight consecutive shots from the field during part of what became a 20-5 burst, putting them up 71-59 with 3:09 remaining. The go-ahead basket came on Pedulla’s 3-pointer with seven minutes left, while the last six points in the spurt came on a pair of 3-point hoops from Cattoor.

NC State closed to within 75-69, but Beran posted six points in the final 1:22 to seal the win for the Hokies.

Virginia Tech shot 53.1 percent for the game from the field. Cattoor and Nickel both made three 3-pointers.

NC State, which pulled in 13 offensive rebounds, rallied from 11 down in the second half to defeat Wake Forest earlier in the week, but the double-digit deficit came late in this game without time to rally.

Before Virginia Tech’s burst, the game had been close throughout except for the Hokies’ brief seven-point edge in the first half.

Horne, who was 0-for-4 on 3s in the first half, connected three times from long range in the second half. That included two in the first two minutes as the Wolfpack erased a one-point deficit.

The turnover bug didn’t totally depart the Hokies, who led 33-32 at halftime despite 12 turnovers. They ended up with 20 giveaways, though NC State committed 18 turnovers.

–Field Level Media

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