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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies take down Louisville 75-68 in ACC opener

The Hokies hold off to beat Louisville.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Second Round - NC State vs Virginia Tech John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Sophomore guard MJ Collins had 24 points and was 0-11 from behind the 3-point line this season going into Virginia Tech’s ACC opener against the Louisville Cardinals. On Sunday, Collins made all three of his attempts from beyond the arc, shot five of 10 from the field, made all seven throws and scored 20 points, leading the Hokies to a 75-68 win over the Cardinals.

Collins also finished with four rebounds and four assists in the win. Collins missed Tech’s last game, a loss at Auburn in the ACC/SEC Men’s Basketball Challenge. In the win over Louisville, Collins came off the bench.

Louisville led 31-30 at halftime after the Hokies got off to a slow start. The Cardinals dominated the early portion of the game until Collins and senior center Lynn Kidd pulled the Hokies just before halftime.

The Hokies continued their hot streak in the second half and, at one point, were on a 16-2 run to take control of the game. However, the Cardinals would not go away, and every time it seemed like Virginia Tech would pull away, Louisville had an answer. The good news for the Hokies is that continued their solid shooting from the free-throw line, making 22 of 27 attempts. It was needed on an evening when Tech wasn’t always sharp from the field. The Hokies shot 40% from the field and made five of 20 from beyond the arc. Take out Collins’ performance, and VT was two of 17 from 3-point range.

Point guard Sean Pedulla struggled again. This time, Pedulla battled foul trouble and finished the game with eight points, five rebounds and four assists. He also turned the ball over four times, and it was the third straight game where Tech had more turnovers than assists.

Kidd finished with 19 points, while Hunter Cattoor chipped in with 12 points.

The Hokies have some time off before they play again next Saturday against Valparaiso.