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Pitt vs. Virginia Tech Preview

Pitt will look to avenge a close loss to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Monday

Game Time: 7 p.m.
Opponent: Virginia Tech
Head Coach: Mike Young (third year)
Conference: ACC
Current Record: 13-10
Last Game: 76-71 win vs. Pitt
2020-21 Season: 15-7 (9-4, third in ACC)

After a tough 76-71 loss to Virginia Tech at the Petersen Events Center on Saturday night, Pitt will look for payback in Blacksburg on Monday night — and considering the way the Panthers dominated the second half of Saturday night’s game, outscoring the Hokies 49-27, that may not be such an unreasonable expectation.

With that said, Pitt will need to defend the perimeter better than it did in its last two games to find any kind of success, as it allowed Virginia Tech to go 14-for-26 from beyond the arc after letting Wake Forest make 15 of its 29 shots from three-point range three days earlier. And with much of that success coming in the first half for both teams, Pitt found itself down more than 20 points at halftime in each of its last two games and has been digging itself out of deep holes late in recent contests.

It seems oddsmakers expect the Panthers to follow a similar script on Monday, as they will enter the game as 13-point underdogs. That compares unfavorably to the odds they faced at home on Saturday, as they were considered 6.5-point underdogs in that matchup.

Last time around, Pitt leaned heavily on Femi Odukale and Jamarius Burton, who had 25 and 21 points, respectively. The team also got a decent contribution from Mouhamadou Gueye, who had 13 points and five rebounds. But the Panthers saw the rest of their players held to single-digit totals, and that included top scorer John Hugley, who managed just two points.

As for Virginia Tech, it was led by Storm Murphy, who had 20 points, and he was aided by Justyn Mutts and Nahiem Alleyne, who combined for 30. However, the Hokies also saw their top scorer stifled, as Keve Aluma had just six points on Saturday night. But a key difference was that the Hokies got 17 bench points, while the Panthers got just two.