Virginia Tech Basketball Season Preview

#16 Virginia Tech Blows Out Northeastern 88-60 to Advance to Charleston Classic Final

Coming off a big win against Ball State yesterday, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team took care of business again, dominating Northeastern 88-60 in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic. Four players scored in double digits as the Hokies won to advance to the championship of the tournament.

Similar to yesterday’s game, today’s matchup was close at the beginning. The Huskies stayed in the fight in the first half, even taking a 24-23 lead with 6:12 left to play. That wouldn’t last long though, as the Hokies found their groove and made shot after shot to take a 46-26 lead into halftime thanks to a 23-2 run to end the half.

When the teams came back from the break, nothing had changed. Ahmed Hill made a layup less than 20 seconds into the second half and the Hokies picked up right where the left off to keep the baskets coming.

Virginia Tech got even better as the game went on, shooting 60 percent from the field in the second half and 54 percent on three-point shots. Northeastern narrowed the lead at times, but the Hokies didn’t let them get within 16 points, ending the game with a 28-point victory.

Wabissa Bede was the only starter for Virginia Tech to not score in double digits, but he was close with eight points. Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the team in scoring for the second-straight game, scoring 20 points against the Huskies. The win marks his third 20-point game of the season.

Alexander-Walker added four defensive rebounds, four steals, and seven assists, leading the team in the latter 2 categories.

Justin Robinson scored 19 points in the game, shooting 8-for-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line. He and Kerry Blackshear, Jr. each had four assists, second-most on the team.

Blackshear and Ahmed Hill were the other two players to score double digits for the Hokies, scoring 12 and 15 points, respectively. Hill shot 3-for-4 on three-pointers while Blackshear was 6-for-9 from the field.

The Hokies dominated in nearly every stat offensively, scoring 36 points in the paint and 26 points off turnovers. Northeastern was able to score more points off the bench than Virginia Tech, but it didn’t make a difference as the Hokies’ starting five played the majority of the game.

With the win, the Hokies move on to the championship game in the Charleston Classic. They’ll play the winner of Purdue vs. Davidson, which takes place tonight at 6:30 p.m.

If the Hokies end up playing Purdue, it will be their first Top 25 matchup of the season. The Boilermakers are currently ranked No. 23 in the AP Poll and are 3-0 on the season.

Davidson is 3-0 as well, picking up wins over Cleveland State, Dartmouth and Wichita State. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Purdue a 67 percent chance to win tonight’s semifinal. The championship game will be played on Sunday night in Charleston’s TD Arena.

Photo Credit: Harley Taylor

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