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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies escape upset bid with 69-64 win over Charleston-Southern

The Hokies hope to see no one else from Charleston anytime soon.

NCAA Basketball: Charleston Southern at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies have seen enough of Charleston — or any team with Charleston in the name for the foreseeable future.

After Virginia Tech’s 77-75 loss to the College of Charleston Sunday in the finals of the Charleston Classic, the Hokies were back in action Friday, hosting Charleston-Southern from Cassell Coliseum. Fortunately for Virginia Tech, the Hokies escaped with a 69-64 win to improve to 6-1 season.

When we say escaped, the game was still tied at 64 with 1:45 remaining when Claudell Harris Jr. made a jumper to tie the game for the Buccaneers. Virginia Tech center Lynn Kidd answered with a dunk 23 seconds later to give the Hokies a 66-64 lead — one they would not relinquish.

After Harris missed a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining, Virginia Tech guard Hunter Cattoor got the rebound, was fouled and made both free throws to end the game.

The Hokies were very fortunate to win this game. Every time it appeared Tech was about to pull away, the Bucs wouldn’t allow them. Charleston-Southern played terrific defense throughout the game. Virginia Tech led by four points at halftime and it looked like the Hokies were about to pull away multiple times in the second half, but it never happened until the end of the game.

Senior forward Justyn Mutts led the Hokies with 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Mutts carried the Hokies offensively at times. Sophomore point guard Sean Pedulla scored 15 points, junior guard Darius Maddox scored 12 and Kidd gave Tech 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

The Hokies shot just 42.6% from the field and made only six of 21 from beyond the arc. Tech was outrebounded 38-37.

Should you be concerned?

As we’ve seen early this season, some of the top teams in college basketball have struggled. That’s what occurs early in the regular season. Top-ranked UNC lost Friday and has struggled against lesser competition on more than one occasion this month. So, there’s no reason to be alarmed — yet.

The Hokies are back in action from Cassell Coliseum Monday in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.