Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Loss vs. Panthers Still Irks Hokies

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Loss vs. Panthers Still Irks Hokies

Article excerpt

Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams remembers every detail about his team's 90-71 loss Jan. 31 against Pitt at Petersen Events Center, even though it is a game he has tried hard to forget.

The Panthers jumped on top and never looked back, stomping to a surprisingly easy win considering Virginia Tech came into the game on a roll in early ACC play. Williams said Pitt was impressive that night and pushed the Hokies around. But he believes his team learned a tough lesson about how hard it needs to play just to compete against - much less beat - a good ACC team.

"They dominated us from start to finish, I don't think it was ever a game," Williams said on the ACC teleconference Monday. "I don't think that we were ever in the mix for it to be a game. They played harder than us, they played tougher, they played smarter than us.

"I don't know that we can play a lot worse than we did that night relative to our effort and our energy and our attitude toward how things played out. Our guys were aware of how it happened, so, yeah, I would say they remember it as well."

Williams hopes the Hokies (16-13, 8-8) can show how far they've come in a little bit more than a month when they face the Panthers (20-8, 9-7) tonight at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. It is the first of two rematches Pitt will play on the road this week as league play winds down. The Panthers will play Saturday at Georgia Tech.

Coach Jamie Dixon said rematch games can be tricky, but there is no chance the Panthers will take either lightly, even though they own wins against both.

"We feel like we are playing well," Dixon said. "We put so much into what teams are doing the last couple of games, but it wasn't like we thought we would be playing against someone who can't play this week or anyone in this league."

Pitt got a huge win Sunday against then-No. …

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