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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies no match for Auburn’s length in ACC/SEC Challenge

It was Virginia Tech’s second consecutive ugly loss.

Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Virginia Tech Hokies were on a bit of a roll until they met No. 19 Florida Atlanta on Sunday in the finals of the ESPN Events Invitational. FAU’s length and athleticism frustrated the Tech offense in an 84-50 rout of the Hokies.

Virginia Tech didn’t have a lot of time to put that loss behind them with a trip on Wednesday to Auburn to face the Tigers in the SEC/ACC Men’s Challenge. Unfortunately for VT, the Tigers presented a similar challenge to FAU and defeated the Hokies 74-57.

Auburn controlled the game from start, using its length and athleticism on the defensive end to drive the Hokies crazy. Virginia Tech had no answer for Tigers forward John Broome. The 6-foot-10 Broome scored 30 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, besting Virginia Tech big man Lynn Kidd, who finished with only six points and seven rebounds.

In the loss to FAU, turnovers and rebounding killed the Hokies. It was more of the same at Auburn, but Tech’s turnovers were way up. The Hokies turned the ball over a ridiculous 21 times and had only seven assists. Additionally, Auburn finished the game with 11 steals.

Point guard Sean Pedulla really struggled against the Tigers’ length, scoring just four points and missing all nine shots from the field. Furthermore, Pedulla had seven turnovers and just two assists.

Hunter Cattoor was the only Hokie to score in double figures, leading the way with 16 points. The Hokies were without starting guard MJ Collins, opening the door for freshman Jaydon Young. Young was a bright spot for Tech, scoring nine points as he connected on three of his four attempts from beyond the arc.

Sophomore forward John Camden had nine points and six rebounds off the bench.

As a team, Virginia Tech shot a terrible 27.5% from the field and made six of its 20 attempts from 3-point range.

The last two losses could be a trend for the Hokies. This team is going to struggle against teams with length. Auburn and FAU had length, and those long arms particularly frustrated Tech’s shooters, in particular Pedulla and Tyler Nickel. The duo combined to miss all 14 shots from the field.

Virginia Tech falls to 5-3 on the season, and next up is the ACC home opener against Louisville on Sunday.