Grant Basile scored 22 points to guide Virginia Tech past visiting Pittsburgh 79-72 on Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.
Mylyjael Poteat added a season-high 15 points and shot 7-for-9 from the foul line off the bench for the Hokies (16-11, 6-10 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their sixth straight over Pitt in Blacksburg. Justyn Mutts, Sean Pedulla and Hunter Cattoor all contributed 12 points and combined for 12 of the Hokies' 17 assists.
Jamarius Burton led the Panthers (19-8, 12-4) with 15 points, while Greg Elliott and Nelly Cummings both scored 11, with Cummings dishing out a game-high eight assists. Federiko Federiko logged 12 points but was mostly ineffective after picking up three early fouls in the second half.
The loss snapped Pitt's six-game winning streak and knocked them down to third place in the conference standings behind No. 7 Virginia and No. 15 Miami, who both won earlier in the day.
Pitt made three more field goals than the Hokies (28 to 25) but could never kick its offense into full gear as the Panthers' typically reliable 3-point shooting never emerged.
Entering the contest averaging a league-best 9.5 threes per game, the Panthers connected from distance just once in the first half and fell behind 41-30 at the break. Pitt never found its stroke and finished the game 3-for-18 on 3-pointers.
The Hokies shot 11-for-20 (55 percent) in the second half and connected on 12 of 17 free throws to keep their comfortable lead down the stretch. They finished 20-for-28 from the foul line for the game.
Foul trouble limited Pitt's ability to creep back into the game, as starters Federiko, Cummings and Blake Hinson all picked up their fourth personals before the 10-minute mark of the second half. Hinson fouled out with 5:34 to go and finished with just four points.
After falling behind by six in the first half, Virginia Tech forced four turnovers and made six straight shots throughout an 18-2 run that vaulted them in front 23-13 with 9:02 remaining in the period.
Mutts punished the Panthers inside with eight first-half points, while Basile capitalized when Pitt's defense compressed down low and drilled three of the Hokies' five 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.
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