Grant Basile scored 25 points and Justyn Mutts flirted with a triple-double Saturday as Virginia Tech cruised to an 85-70 victory over Syracuse in ACC action in Blacksburg, Va.
Hunter Cattoor added 20 points and MJ Collins pitched in 11 for the Hokies (13-8, 3-7 ACC), who have won two straight games since suffering through a seven-game losing streak. One of those losses was an 82-72 road defeat against the Orange, who simply had no answers for the Virginia Tech offense on this day.
The Hokies shot 53.3 percent from the field and knocked down 13 3-pointers, finishing with 26 assists on 32 baskets.
Mutts made a major dent in the scoresheet with 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. There have only been two triple-doubles in Virginia Tech history, including one by Mutts last season against the Orange.
Judah Mintz led Syracuse (13-9, 6-5) with 21 points and eight assists, although he also committed five of the team’s 15 turnovers. Justin Taylor added 12 points and Maliq Brown had 11 for the Orange.
Virginia Tech shot 62.5 percent in the first half (including 11 of 20 from 3-point range) and went into the locker room with a 52-33 advantage.
The game was actually tight early on, as Syracuse led 10-9 five minutes into the contest. However, the Hokies then scored nine straight points, highlighted by Basile’s dunk and Cattoor’s 3-pointer.
In all, the Hokies made 9 of 10 3-pointers over the final 11 minutes of the half, including four by Cattoor and three by Collins. Basile’s long-range shot in the waning seconds created a 19-point margin at intermission.
Virginia Tech extended its advantage to 22 points early in the second half before Syracuse began to chip away. Taylor’s 3-pointer made it a 15-point game, and then Mintz’s jumper sliced the deficit to 12 with 11:01 to go.
The momentum didn’t last long, however, as the Hokies scored eight straight points — four by Mutts and four by Basile — to stretch the lead back to 20.
–Field Level Media