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Pitt gets 32 from Johnson off the bench, keying 83-72 upset of #16 Virginia Tech

xavier johnson pitt
Xavier Johnson goes up for two of his game-high 32 points in Pitt’s 83-72 win over Virginia Tech. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

A 13-0 Pitt run broke open a close game, and the Panthers held on from there on their way to a 83-72 upset of #16 Virginia Tech on Wednesday.

The Hokies (13-4, 7-3 ACC) had just defeated the top team in the conference, Virginia, by double digits over the weekend.

Pitt (9-5, 5-4 ACC) had, for its part, lost three straight coming in.

They’d get a huge night from Xavier Johnson, who had 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting off the bench, though it was a pair of Johnson assists – on made threes by Ithiel Hornton and Au’Diese Toney – that would be key in the game-breaking run.

Tech got 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the reigning ACC Player of the Week, Keve Aluma, but the Hokies could not overcome 9-of-30 (30 percent) shooting from behind the arc.

Pitt would shoot 50 percent (26-of-52) from the floor on the night.

Horton scored 15, Toney 14, and Justin Champagnie had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

“As good as we have been defensively, to allow 83 points to a Pittsburgh team that has struggled to score at times over the course of the year, they shot 50 percent. We have been so good defensively, but we were not that team tonight, and that is disappointing,” Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said.

“I think they wanted it more than us. We were not as physical, and at the end of the day, they just wanted it more than us, and that’s the most simple way to put it,” said Aluma, who’d had 29 for the Hokies in the win over UVA on Saturday.

Tech next gets Miami (7-10, 3-9 ACC), which just beat Duke on Monday, on Saturday down in Coral Gables.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press