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Horne's career night carries Virginia Tech past Pittsburgh

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) During Virginia Tech’s recent skid, its fans and players had been searching for answers to help the Hokies solve some of their recent end-of-game issues, particularly after two close losses to Boston College and one to Florida State.

Coach Mike Young already knew the answer.

“There’s no pixie dust. There’s no magic formula to finishing,” he said following the Hokies’ win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. “Do the things you’ve done from the start - defend, rebound, get a quality shot each time down, and that’ll get you out of a lot of situations. I thought they did that.”

His team defended, held its own on the boards, and got a great evening from forward P.J. Horne, who scored a career-high 18 points to lift Virginia Tech to a 67-57 victory over the Panthers.

Horne hit 6 of 9 from the floor, including a career-high four 3-pointers for the Hokies (15-10, 6-8 Atlantic Coast Conference), who snapped a five-game losing streak. Jalen Cone added 12 points and four 3-pointers for Virginia Tech, which hit 12 3-pointers - its most since hitting 14 in a 79-77 double-overtime victory over North Carolina, which happened to be its last win before Saturday.

Au’Diese Toney and Justin Champignie scored 12 points each to lead the Panthers (15-11, 6-9), who lost for the fifth time in their past seven games.

Horne, who came into the game averaging 7.1 points per game, made two 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions in the final 3:30 to help the Hokies hold off the Panthers. Virginia Tech led by as many as 19 in the second half before Pittsburgh cut the lead to 59-53 on a layup by Abdoul Karim Coulibaly with 3:21 remaining.

Horne, though, hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 3:06 to go to push the Tech lead to 62-53, and after another Coulibaly layup with 2:51 remaining, Horne connected again, hitting another 3-pointer from the exact same spot to give the Hokies a 65-55 lead. Pittsburgh got no closer.

“It’s just the flow of the game,” Horne said of his 3-pointers. “I was open. Coach tells me never to turn down a good shot, so I just took the shots.

“I didn’t come in thinking I would have this type of night. I was just thinking we needed to win. We needed to find a way to win.”

Xavier Johnson finished with 11 points for Pittsburgh, which shot just 35% (21 of 60) in losing its fifth straight road game.

“I thought we did some good things, but we have to be able to finish,” Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel said. “I would imagine we probably missed seven to eight layups, so we have to be able to finish those plays, and we have to be able to make free throws (10 of 18). If we can do that, then maybe the outcome would have been a little bit different or a little bit closer.

“We cannot dig ourselves a hole like we did again. We showed we can get up off the mat and fight back, but we have to figure out a way where we don’t have a hole that big.”

BIG PICTURE

Pittsburgh: Securing an NCAA Tournament berth is probably a bit much to ask of this young squad, but an NIT bid is certainly an attainable goal. However, the Panthers need to find a cure for their first-half woes, particularly on the road. Pittsburgh entered the game shooting just 32.4% in the first half of its previous five road games (four losses) and continued the trend Saturday, shooting just 26.9% in the first half.

Virginia Tech: A week off certainly did wonders for the Hokies, who desperately needed a win after dropping five straight games. Like the Panthers, the Hokies probably aren’t going to make the NCAA field unless they came make some noise against a brutal upcoming schedule. Tech plays Miami on Wednesday, then takes on Duke (road), Virginia (home) and Louisville (road).

HORNE OF PLENTY

How rare was Horne’s performance for Virginia Tech? He hadn’t scored in double figures in the previous nine games and in just two ACC games this season. His four 3-pointers were a career high.

“I just thought he was really searching (for his shot) - more so tonight, I thought,” Young said. “We had some matchups in the previous game against Boston College, (but) he wasn’t moving as well. His shot preparation wasn’t what it had been. Had a great look (tonight).”

JOHNSON SITS TO START SECOND HALF

Capel did not start guard Xavier Johnson at the beginning of the second half after Johnson played poorly in the first half. He did not score, missing his lone shot attempt and both of his free-throw attempts in the first 20 minutes.

“He didn’t deserve to start the second half,” Capel said. “That’s not pushing a button. You deserve what you get when you play for me. It’s not a birthright that you’re going to start. It’s no big story. He just didn’t deserve to start … He played better in the second half, but we need everybody on this team to play how they’re capable all the time in order for us to have a chance to win.”

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh: The Panthers play at Florida State on Tuesday.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies host Miami on Wednesday.

Copyright 2020 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

1st Half

Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by Pittsburgh  
19:44 +3 Trey McGowens made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Au'Diese Toney 3-0
19:28 +2 Wabissa Bede made dunk, assist by P.J. Horne 3-2
19:12   Offensive foul on Terrell Brown  
19:12   Turnover on Terrell Brown  
18:48   P.J. Horne missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:46   Defensive rebound by Terrell Brown  
18:31 +2 Terrell Brown made jump shot 5-2
18:05   Jumpball received by Virginia Tech  
17:59   Landers Nolley II missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:57   Defensive rebound by Justin Champagnie  
17:45   Terrell Brown missed jump shot  
17:43   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
17:28   Shooting foul on Xavier Johnson  
17:28   Landers Nolley II missed 1st of 2 free throws  
17:28 +1 Landers Nolley II made 2nd of 2 free throws 5-3
17:15   Au'Diese Toney missed jump shot  
17:13   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
17:07 +2 Tyrece Radford made dunk, assist by Landers Nolley II 5-5
16:42   Personal foul on Wabissa Bede  
16:31   Abdoul Karim Coulibaly missed layup, blocked by P.J. Horne  
16:29   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
16:13   Landers Nolley II missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:11   Defensive rebound by Au'Diese Toney  
16:08   Shooting foul on P.J. Horne  
16:08   Au'Diese Toney missed 1st of 2 free throws  
16:08   Au'Diese Toney missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
16:08   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
15:54   Lost ball turnover on Tyrece Radford  
15:54   Commercial timeout called  
15:42   Trey McGowens missed jump shot  
15:40   Defensive rebound by Wabissa Bede  
15:36 +2 Tyrece Radford made layup, assist by Wabissa Bede 5-7
15:02   Justin Champagnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:00   Offensive rebound by Au'Diese Toney  
14:42   Lost ball turnover on Au'Diese Toney, stolen by Landers Nolley II  
14:42   Personal foul on Abdoul Karim Coulibaly  
14:40   Hunter Cattoor missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:38   Defensive rebound by Xavier Johnson  
14:19 +3 Justin Champagnie made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ryan Murphy 8-7
13:59   Wabissa Bede missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:57   Offensive rebound by Virginia Tech  
13:48   Lost ball turnover on Nahiem Alleyne, stolen by Ryan Murphy  
13:34   Bad pass turnover on Ryan Murphy, stolen by Landers Nolley II  
13:21   Hunter Cattoor missed layup, blocked by Ryan Murphy  
13:19   Defensive rebound by Xavier Johnson  
13:19   Shooting foul on Tyrece Radford  
13:17 +1 Au'Diese Toney made 1st of 2 free throws 9-7
13:17 +1 Au'Diese Toney made 2nd of 2 free throws 10-7
12:58 +3 Hunter Cattoor made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tyrece Radford 10-10
12:33 +3 Trey McGowens made 3-pt. jump shot 13-10
12:26   Bad pass turnover on Landers Nolley II, stolen by Au'Diese Toney  
12:17   Au'Diese Toney missed layup  
12:15   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
12:12 +3 Jalen Cone made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Landers Nolley II 13-13
11:50   Trey McGowens missed layup, blocked by John Ojiako  
11:48   Defensive rebound by Hunter Cattoor  
11:38 +3 Hunter Cattoor made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Landers Nolley II 13-16
11:10   Terrell Brown missed jump shot  
11:08   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
10:58   Hunter Cattoor missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:56   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
10:51   Personal foul on Landers Nolley II  
10:51   Commercial timeout called  
10:35   Justin Champagnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:33   Defensive rebound by Isaiah Wilkins  
10:11 +2 P.J. Horne made jump shot, assist by Tyrece Radford 13-18
9:52   Shooting foul on Hunter Cattoor  
9:52   Au'Diese Toney missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:52 +1 Au'Diese Toney made 2nd of 2 free throws 14-18
9:31 +2 Nahiem Alleyne made jump shot 14-20
9:03   Offensive foul on Justin Champagnie  
9:03   Turnover on Justin Champagnie  
8:45   Isaiah Wilkins missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:43   Defensive rebound by Abdoul Karim Coulibaly  
8:34   Xavier Johnson missed jump shot  
8:32   Defensive rebound by Isaiah Wilkins  
8:26 +3 P.J. Horne made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Wabissa Bede 14-23
8:17   30-second timeout called  
8:17   Commercial timeout called  
7:55   Ryan Murphy missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:53   Offensive rebound by Xavier Johnson  
7:38 +2 Abdoul Karim Coulibaly made layup, assist by Trey McGowens 16-23
7:20 +3 Jalen Cone made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Isaiah Wilkins 16-26
6:38   Bad pass turnover on Trey McGowens, stolen by Jalen Cone  
6:26 +2 Tyrece Radford made layup, assist by Isaiah Wilkins 16-28
6:18   Shooting foul on P.J. Horne  
6:18   Xavier Johnson missed 1st of 2 free throws  
6:18   Xavier Johnson missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
6:18   Defensive rebound by John Ojiako  
5:59   Out of bounds turnover on Nahiem Alleyne  
5:42   Au'Diese Toney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:40   Defensive rebound by John Ojiako  
5:18   Jalen Cone missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:16   Defensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
4:55   Trey McGowens missed layup  
4:53   Offensive rebound by Abdoul Karim Coulibaly  
4:38   Abdoul Karim Coulibaly missed layup  
4:36   Offensive rebound by Au'Diese Toney  
4:27   Au'Diese Toney missed layup  
4:25   Defensive rebound by Wabissa Bede  
4:20   Landers Nolley II missed jump shot  
4:18   Defensive rebound by Justin Champagnie  
4:12   Lost ball turnover on Trey McGowens, stolen by John Ojiako  
4:03   Tyrece Radford missed layup, blocked by Justin Champagnie  
4:01   Offensive rebound by John Ojiako  
3:49   Personal foul on Au'Diese Toney  
3:46 +2 Landers Nolley II made layup 16-30
3:45   Ryan Murphy missed jump shot  
3:43   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
3:45   P.J. Horne missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:43   Defensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
3:51   Commercial timeout called  
3:28 +2 Au'Diese Toney made layup, assist by Trey McGowens 18-30
3:10 +2 John Ojiako made dunk, assist by Wabissa Bede 18-32
2:45   Au'Diese Toney missed jump shot  
2:43   Defensive rebound by Tyrece Radford  
2:34   Hunter Cattoor missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:32   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
2:25   Gerald Drumgoole Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:23   Defensive rebound by John Ojiako  
2:01   Landers Nolley II missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:59   Defensive rebound by Terrell Brown  
1:50   Personal foul on Wabissa Bede  
1:50   30-second timeout called  
1:50 +1 Trey McGowens made 1st of 2 free throws 19-32
1:50 +1 Trey McGowens made 2nd of 2 free throws 20-32
1:35   Landers Nolley II missed jump shot  
1:33   Defensive rebound by Justin Champagnie  
1:25   Justin Champagnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:23   Defensive rebound by John Ojiako  
1:08   Landers Nolley II missed jump shot  
1:06   Defensive rebound by Au'Diese Toney  
58.0   Shooting foul on John Ojiako  
58.0   Justin Champagnie missed 1st of 2 free throws  
58.0 +1 Justin Champagnie made 2nd of 2 free throws 21-32
43.0   Nahiem Alleyne missed 3-pt. jump shot  
41.0   Defensive rebound by Justin Champagnie  
34.0 +2 Abdoul Karim Coulibaly made layup, assist by Trey McGowens 23-32
0.0   Tyrece Radford missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0.0   Offensive rebound by Virginia Tech  
0.0   End of period  

2nd Half

Time Team Play Score
19:40   Au'Diese Toney missed layup  
19:38   Defensive rebound by Virginia Tech  
19:09 +2 Nahiem Alleyne made jump shot 23-34
18:48 +2 Abdoul Karim Coulibaly made layup, assist by Trey McGowens 25-34
18:29   Shooting foul on Justin Champagnie  
18:29 +1 Tyrece Radford made 1st of 2 free throws 25-35
18:29 +1 Tyrece Radford made 2nd of 2 free throws 25-36
18:06   Abdoul Karim Coulibaly missed layup, blocked by Tyrece Radford  
18:04   Offensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
18:04   Shooting foul on Wabissa Bede  
18:04   Justin Champagnie missed 1st of 2 free throws  
18:04   Justin Champagnie missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
18:04   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
17:39 +2 P.J. Horne made jump shot, assist by Nahiem Alleyne 25-38
17:22   Justin Champagnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:20   Defensive rebound by P.J. Horne  
17:10 +3 Jalen Cone made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Landers Nolley II 25-41
17:10   30-second timeout called  
17:10   Commercial timeout called  
16:49   Justin Champagnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:47   Offensive rebound by Abdoul Karim Coulibaly  
16:40   Abdoul Karim Coulibaly missed layup  
16:38   Defensive rebound by John Ojiako  
16:32   Nahiem Alleyne missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:30   Offensive rebound by Tyrece Radford  
16:24 +3 Jalen Cone made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nahiem Alleyne 25-44
16:00 +3 Au'Diese Toney made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trey McGowens 28-44
15:41 +2 Landers Nolley II made layup 28-46
15:28 +2 Justin Champagnie made dunk, assist by Au'Diese Toney 30-46
15:26   Landers Nolley II missed jump shot  
15:24   Offensive rebound by John Ojiako  
15:13   John Ojiako missed layup  
15:11   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
14:58   Lost ball turnover on Trey McGowens  
14:58   Commercial timeout called  
14:30 +2 John Ojiako made jump shot 30-48
14:23   Au'Diese Toney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:21   Defensive rebound by Jalen Cone  
14:09   Jalen Cone missed jump shot  
14:07   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
14:00   Justin Champagnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:58   Defensive rebound by John Ojiako  
13:56   Traveling violation turnover on John Ojiako  
13:43   Shooting foul on Hunter Cattoor  
13:43 +1 Xavier Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 31-48
13:43 +1 Xavier Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 32-48
13:27   Bad pass turnover on Tyrece Radford, stolen by Au'Diese Toney  
13:19   Bad pass turnover on Xavier Johnson, stolen by Tyrece Radford  
12:54 +3 Isaiah Wilkins made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tyrece Radford 32-51
12:36   Xavier Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:34   Offensive rebound by Au'Diese Toney  
12:24 +2 Au'Diese Toney made layup 34-51
12:07   Bad pass turnover on Hunter Cattoor, stolen by Au'Diese Toney  
12:01   Lost ball turnover on Au'Diese Toney, stolen by Isaiah Wilkins  
11:37   Isaiah Wilkins missed layup, blocked by Terrell Brown  
11:35   Defensive rebound by Terrell Brown  
11:28 +3 Xavier Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot 37-51
11:23   Hunter Cattoor missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Terrell Brown  
11:21   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
11:03 +2 Xavier Johnson made layup 39-51
11:00   30-second timeout called  
11:00   Commercial timeout called  
10:32   Landers Nolley II missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:30   Defensive rebound by Justin Champagnie  
10:17   Terrell Brown missed layup  
10:15   Offensive rebound by Justin Champagnie  
10:10 +2 Justin Champagnie made dunk 41-51
9:42 +3 P.J. Horne made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nahiem Alleyne 41-54
9:24   Gerald Drumgoole Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:22   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
9:12   Personal foul on Xavier Johnson  
8:55 +2 Landers Nolley II made jump shot, assist by Nahiem Alleyne 41-56
8:33 +2 Justin Champagnie made dunk, assist by Trey McGowens 43-56
8:01   Lost ball turnover on Nahiem Alleyne, stolen by Au'Diese Toney  
7:55 +2 Au'Diese Toney made dunk 45-56
7:45   Landers Nolley II missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:43   Defensive rebound by Xavier Johnson  
7:35   Shooting foul on Tyrece Radford  
7:35   Commercial timeout called  
7:35 +1 Xavier Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 46-56
7:35 +1 Xavier Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-56
7:29   Personal foul on Trey McGowens  
7:09   Wabissa Bede missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:07   Defensive rebound by Justin Champagnie  
6:59 +2 Terrell Brown made dunk, assist by Trey McGowens 49-56
6:34   P.J. Horne missed jump shot  
6:32   Offensive rebound by John Ojiako  
6:17   Nahiem Alleyne missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:15   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
6:05   Terrell Brown missed jump shot  
6:03   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
5:44   Landers Nolley II missed jump shot  
5:42   Defensive rebound by Trey McGowens  
5:27   Xavier Johnson missed jump shot  
5:25   Defensive rebound by Tyrece Radford  
5:16 +3 Nahiem Alleyne made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tyrece Radford 49-59
4:48   Justin Champagnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:46   Defensive rebound by Virginia Tech  
4:43   Personal foul on Xavier Johnson  
4:27   Landers Nolley II missed jump shot  
4:25   Defensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
4:12 +2 Xavier Johnson made jump shot 51-59
3:37   Shot clock violation turnover on Virginia Tech  
3:37   Commercial timeout called  
3:24   Justin Champagnie missed layup  
3:22   Offensive rebound by Abdoul Karim Coulibaly  
3:16 +2 Abdoul Karim Coulibaly made layup 53-59
3:07 +3 P.J. Horne made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Landers Nolley II 53-62
2:43 +2 Abdoul Karim Coulibaly made layup, assist by Xavier Johnson 55-62
2:34 +3 P.J. Horne made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Landers Nolley II 55-65
2:14   Au'Diese Toney missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:12   Offensive rebound by Abdoul Karim Coulibaly  
2:02   Xavier Johnson missed layup, blocked by Landers Nolley II  
2:00   Offensive rebound by Pittsburgh  
1:59   30-second timeout called  
1:55   Trey McGowens missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:53   Defensive rebound by Nahiem Alleyne  
1:47   Personal foul on Xavier Johnson  
1:43   Lost ball turnover on Jalen Cone  
1:38   Justin Champagnie missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:36   Defensive rebound by Landers Nolley II  
1:07   Landers Nolley II missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:05   Defensive rebound by Justin Champagnie  
1:00