Career-high scoring efforts from Sean Pedulla and Tyler Nickel propelled Virginia Tech to an 87-72 triumph over No. 21 Clemson on Wednesday night.
Virginia Tech’s 39 bench points to Clemson’s 13 were key in the victory. Tech (10-5, 2-2) also held the lead for 37 of the game’s 40 total minutes. Sean Pedulla led all scorers with a career-high 32 points on 6-for-10 shooting from long range and an 8-for-8 effort from the foul line.
Tyler Nickel joined Pedulla in double figures with a career-high 24 points on 5-for-7 shooting from 3-point range and an 8-of-11 effort from the field. Mekhi Long also put in a season-high scoring outing with eight points. Pedulla and MJ Collins had seven assists apiece.
Ian Schefflin led four Tigers (11-4, 1-3) in double figures with 15 points.
The win marked Tech’s first ranked win of the season and the Hokies’ sixth ranked win inside Cassell Coliseum in their last seven tries.
How it happened
Sean Pedulla opened the scoring for the Hokies with a 3-pointer just over a minute in. Lynn Kidd followed with two baskets of his own. After missing their first shot, Tech hit four straight to go up 9-6.
Back-to-back baskets from Robbie Beran and another Pedulla 3-pointer put the Hokies up 17-9. Brandon Rechsteiner’s first basket, a layup, gave Tech a 23-17 lead with around 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Pedulla’s fourth 3-pointer gave him 19 first-half points. The Hokies took a 53-44 lead into the half. Both teams were scorching hot from the field in the first half, Clemson shooting 55% and Tech shooting 65%.
Two baskets each from Pedulla and Kidd opened the second-half scoring for Tech. Beran’s second 3-pointer of the game earned the Hokies a 65-53 lead with 16 minutes to go.
Another Pedulla 3-pointer gave him his sixth on the game to put the Hokies up 63-54 with a little under 12 minutes to go. Pedulla’s layup and free throw put him at a career high 28 points.
Long’s layup put the Hokies back up six. Back-to-back jump shots from Nickel stretched the lead to nine at 75-66. Five minutes remained in the contest.
Three free throws from Nickel added to his career high with 24 points and boosted the Tech lead to 10. Beran followed with another 3-pointer to make the lead 11.
Mylyjael Poteat put an exclamation point on the game with a dunk. Tech defeated Clemson 87-72.
The Hokies are now 8-0 at Cassell Coliseum this season. The 8-0 start at home marked the second straight year the Hokies have opened the season at this mark.
The win tonight was a bounce back for the Hokies, losing both games to Clemson last season.
Tech is now 9-4 in the last 13 games against Clemson.
After being injured on a loose ball, Hunter Cattoor sat from the 11:50 mark in the first half on. He was scoreless for the first time this season.
After tying a career high of 26 at Florida State Saturday, Sean Pedulla improved that number tonight. On 9-16 shooting from the field, Pedulla poured in 32 points. He also grabbed a career-high four steals.
Tyler Nickel, stepping up in the absence of Cattoor, also set career highs tonight. Nickel poured in 24 points on five 3-point field goals.
Mekhi Long’s points (8), field goals attempted (9), and field goals made (4) were all season highs.
Tech shot 13-24 (54%) from 3-point range tonight.
Virginia Tech Athletics