Virginia Tech has an opportunity to build on its strong start to the season with a visit to Boston College on Wednesday night in the ACC home opener for the Eagles at Chestnut Hill, Mass.
No. 21 Virginia Tech (11-1, 1-0 ACC) continued its impressive start by erasing a 10-point deficit and beating Grambling State 74-48 on Saturday. The Hokies made 11 shots from 3-point range and forced a season-high 19 turnovers.
Virginia Tech is off to its best start since the 2018-19 team won 11 of its first 12 games and advanced to the Sweet 16. If Virginia Tech can defeat Boston College, the Hokies will be 2-0 in the ACC for the fifth time in the program’s 19 seasons in the conference.
Mike Young is 0-3 against the Eagles since he was hired as Virginia Tech’s head coach, and two of those losses came at BC.
“We’ve got 19 head-knockers left,” Young said. “The first road (game) happens to be in Chestnut Hill. That’s where we’ll be, and we’ll be ready to fight.”
The nonconference portion of BC’s schedule didn’t go as well as the Eagles (6-6, 0-1 ACC) had hoped, but they did end a four-game losing streak on Dec. 13 with a 63-56 victory over Stonehill, a first-year Division I program.
BC is 4-2 at home, but its losses came against Maine (69-64) and New Hampshire (74-71). New Hampshire’s victory on Dec. 6 was its first in 23 road games against BC.
“It’s hard to win, (and) we should know that by now,” BC coach Earl Grant said following his team’s win against Stonehill. “The end of the nonconference schedule — we ended it the right way. We were close to our identity. That was our one goal, to be close to our identity.
“If you really think about it with our team, we’ve got some guys that can do more. That means we’ve got a lot of room to grow. Our minds need to stay focused on the right stuff.”
Injuries have been a problem for the Eagles, who have been without guard Makai Ashton-Langford, guard/forward Prince Aligbe, forward Quinten Post, guard DeMarr Langford Jr. and guard Donald Hand Jr. for at least part of the season.
BC was still without Post and Hand for the Stonehill game, but Ashton-Langford returned after missing two games with a hamstring injury. He scored seven points in 20 minutes.
“What changed was we defended,” Grant said. “We were more to our identity defensively. … We were able to get the stops we needed and we made some crucial free throws.”
Virginia Tech received 21 points, six assists and two steals from Sean Pedulla against Grambling State. Pedulla is averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game this season. Grant Basile (14), Justyn Mutts (12.8) and Hunter Cattoor (10.0) are Virginia Tech’s other top scorers. Mutts is also averaging a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game.
The Hokies are 8-0 at home and 3-0 at neutral sites this season but are still seeking their first road victory. Their lone loss came on the road against the College of Charleston (77-75).
Jaeden Zackery (11.3), Ashton-Langford (10.6) and CJ Penha (10.3) are BC’s leading scorers.
The Eagles dropped a 75-59 decision at Duke in their first ACC game this year. Virginia Tech’s first ACC contest was an 80-72 triumph over North Carolina.
–Field Level Media