Coach Justin Fuente’s club has won three in a row since dropping a 31-17 decision to Clemson, including a 59-7 rout of a North Carolina team that pushed Miami to the brink before losing 24-19 last week.
“Justin Fuente has done a really outstanding job — not just a good job, a great job — of putting his team together,” Richt said of the Hokies coach who, like Richt, is in his second season with his current team. “He has got a great place to coach, and I’m sure he inherited some wonderful players.
This game has been a key matchup for both teams since they began competing against each other on a regular basis back in the 1990s when they were Big East colleagues. After losing the first 12 meetings, Virginia Tech won five in a row from 1995-99 to really ignite the rivalry that has continued since both joined the ACC for the 2004 season.
The Mavericks opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run and kept the game close, but couldn’t regain the lead in their final outing before a two-game road trip.
Dario Saric started in Reddick’s place and had 12 points in 29 minutes. … Philadelphia led 57-56 at halftime.
Mavericks: F Dirk Nowitzki had 11 points and recorded his 1,788th career 3-pointer in the third quarter, moving past Rashard Lewis for sole possession of 13th place on the NBA all-time list. … 76ers assistant coach Jim O’Brien served as the Mavericks lead assistant during the 2012-13 season. … Dallas had won 11 straight at home against Philadelphia heading into Saturday.
The Mavericks’ bench helped keep the game close as Ferrell, Barea, Devin Harris and Dwight Powell all had a positive plus-minus showing. Nowitzki, who played with the group most of the game, was the only starter with a positive plus-minus while on the floor. “Generally when those guys were in we were digging out of some kind of hole,” Carlisle said.