Johnson ends slump, Pitt tops No. 16 Virginia Tech 83-72

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Pittsburgh’s Xavier Johnson, right, shoots over Virginia Tech’s Hunter Cattoor (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Xavier Johnson scored a career-high 32 points and Pittsburgh beat No. 16 Virginia Tech 83-72 to end a three-game skid.

Johnson had been slumping and was held out of Pitt’s starting lineup for the first time this season and second time in his three-year career. He shot 11 of 17 from the floor, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, as the Panthers had their way against a usually stingy Virginia Tech defense.

“They played better than we did needless to say. They were more physical, they threw the ball into the post, we had absolutely no answer for Johnson. 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%,” head coach Mike Young said. “We have been so good defensively but we were not that team tonight and that is disappointing. I credit Coach Capel and the Panthers, they outplayed us tonight.”

Pittsburgh beat a ranked opponent for the first time since January 2019.

Keve Aluma scored 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting for the Hokies, who were coming off a win over then-No. 8 Virginia.

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