The Virginia Tech Hokies moved to 4-1 on the season after Thursday’s 82-75 Thanksgiving Day win over the Boise State Broncos in the ESPN Events Invitational.
It was far from easy, as the Broncos opened up a double-digit lead in the first half, but the Hokies stormed back to take a 44-41 halftime lead. It was Tech’s big three who made the difference — again.
Center Lynn Kidd and guard Hunter Cattoor each scored 19 points, while point guard Sean Pedulla chipped in with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Sophomore wing Tyler Nickel came off the bench and scored 14 points. Nickel’s usage is interesting as he played the third-most minutes for the Hokies behind Cattoor and Pedulla.
Cattoor made five of his 10 3-point attempts and, in the process, broke the school record for most made 3-point shots. The record was formerly held by A.D. Vassallo. As a team, Tech shot 47% from the floor and made seven of 18 from beyond the arc. The Hokies were excellent from the charity stripe, making 23 of 27.
Every time it appeared the Hokies were going to take control of the game, Boise State stormed back, taking a 52-49 lead with around 15 minutes remaining in the game. The two teams went back and forth over the next several minutes before Virginia Tech took a 61-60 lead with around eight minutes left in the game and never trailed again.
Pedulla took over late, putting the game out of reach with a deep three late in the shot clock. He followed that up with an impressive take at the rim to give the Hokies a 77-70 lead with 1:37 remaining.
Tech would finish the game continuing its success at the free-throw line and will now face Iowa State on Friday in Orlando. On the other side of the bracket, Texas A&M (led by Buzz Williams) faces Florida Atlantic (made the Final Four last season).