Sizzling Virginia Tech hit 13 straight shots to build a huge halftime lead and then held off host Pittsburgh in a 76-71 Atlantic Coast Conference win on Saturday night.
In capturing its third straight, Virginia Tech (13-10, 5-7 ACC) was led by Storm Murphy's 20 points and four assists. Justyn Mutts added 16 points and five rebounds while Nahiem Alleyne contributed 14 points.
The Hokies made 75 percent of their shots from the floor in the first half, their best percentage ever for a half in an ACC game, en route to a 49-22 lead at the break. They also made 10 of 13 (76.9 percent) from long distance in the first 20 minutes, with seven different players making a 3.
Pitt (8-15, 3-9) answered Tech's incredible display with strong shooting of its own in the second half when it rallied from 28 points down. The Panthers made 12 of their first 15 shots of the half as they whittled the deficit to 60-54 with 8:22 left.
But Murphy had all the answers late for the Hokies, scoring 10 of his points in the final 7:53. His 3-pointer after Pitt pulled to within six helped steady the Hokies. In the closing seconds, Pitt got the deficit down to 3 but Murphy iced it with two free throws with two seconds left.
Femi Odukale scored 25 points and Jamarius Burton added 21 to lead the Panthers' comeback attempt. The backcourt duo made a combined 17 of 24 shots, with Odukale going 5 of 7 on 3-point tries.
Tech focused its defense on Pitt's top scorer and rebounder John Hugley, holding him to two points and four rebounds with double-teams.
Tech led all the way as Murphy opened the game with a 3-pointer and passed to Mutts for another 3.
Later in the half, Tech went longer than 10 minutes without missing a shot. Keve Aluma opened the shooting streak with a 3-pointer and reserve Sean Pedulla closed it with another 3.
Alleyne made four baskets in the streak, including a trio of 3-pointers. The streak was still alive at the end of the half but Alleyne's rushed buzzer-beating attempt from the corner was off the mark.
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