Vermont, which is at the northern end of the Appalachians, came Southwest for a chance to make the Hokies’ home stand a bit lest happy. It didn’t work out the way that they wanted.
The game started off with a huge Florida roar from Hunter Catoor who drained a three to open the scoring, and Tech never looked back. The team led from tip to the final buzzer, and even with Vermont finally getting past the 30-point mark a third of the way through the second half, the Hokies had already lit the afterburner enough that they maintained an average 20-point lead from the halfway point of the first half.
The interesting part of the exercise was that Coach Young managed to get lots of players some time on the floorboards. No one played more than Tyler Nickel at 30 minutes. Point leading double-double recording Lynn Kidd only played 24 minutes of the 40-minute game. Only Hunter Cattoor and Brandon Rechsteiner put more than 20 minutes on the court. Both of them just barely over, at that. Young managed to get 12 players some time on the court, and most everyone made some contribution.
It was a long bench and there were no statistical runaways with Tech’s effort.
Center Lynn Kidd has really stepped up the effort this season. He’s developed a nice presence at both the high and low post, and is really working to muscle it up, and stick in for rebounds. He managed 4 offensive boards in the game, and that’s really encouraging. Tech needed to beat the urge to put up dead shots from downtown and run back down the court without follow-ups. It seems that Kidd is helping to end that bad habit. He was 4-7 from the floor and was a significant foul target enough that he took 11 shots from the charity stripe, making 9 of them. He also pulled down a total of 11 boards and dished out an assist.
Nickel was 4 of 9 from the floor with 2 coming from beyond the arc. He was also a perfect 3 for 3 from the foul line. It was a solid 13-point performance. A few more rebounds would be a big benefit to his stat line, but that might not have been Mike Young’s plan for the game.
Hunter put up 10 points on 2 threes, a bucket, and 2 good shots from the foul line. On defense he pulled down 2 boards, swiped the ball twice, and blocked a shot. He might have had better results, but his playing time was limited to 22 minutes.
The rest of the roster was in single digits but also pretty limited playing time. Sean Pedulla (7) played 17 minutes. Jaydon Young played 16 minutes and sunk 2 from downtown. Mekhi Long (2) pulled down 7 rebounds and managed a steal in his 16 minutes on the floor. Brandon Rechsteiner (5), Mylyjael Poteat (4), Robbie Beran (3), John Camden (3), and Patrick Wessler (3) all contributed.
There were too many turnovers at 17, and only Long got into long term foul trouble. It was a good effort against a team that was supposed to be red hot coming into Blacksburg.