It took Virginia Tech a half to find their offensive rhythm but after a sloppy opening 20 minutes, the Hokies found their offensive rhythm and played like the 10th-ranked team that they’ve proven themselves to be over the past several weeks.
#10 Virginia Tech beat Boston College 77-66 to improve to 13-1 on the season and 2-0 in ACC play while the Eagles fell to 9-4 on the season and 0-1 in ACC play.
Sloppy offense defined the first half as Virginia Tech and Boston College had issues with turnovers opening the door for BC to run with the lead thanks to a cold-shooting VT team. However, the Hokies started to find some offensive rhythm with an 8-0 run midway through the first half that included 5 points from Nickeil Alexander-Walker. However, BC would use a 10-2 run later in the second half to surge to a 32-27 lead before VT cut the BC lead to 32-30 before halftime.
The Hokies struggled offensively shooting 37% from the field and 4-13 from three-point range along with having 6 turnovers. However, VT was solid defensively as shown by Boston College’s 8 turnovers while also outrebounding BC 17-14 including 5-2 in offensive rebounding. Nickeil Alexander-Walker led all scorers with 12 points while Jairus Hamilton led BC with 9 points.
Virginia Tech found some rhythm early in the second half with an 11-0 run that gave the Hokies their first lead of the second half at 43-36. From there, Virginia Tech didn’t give up the lead benefiting from going into the bonus with 15:03 to go and into the double bonus with 9:16 to go. After gaining control, Virginia Tech used a 9-0 run to take the lead to 62-46 and put the game completely out of reach for Boston College. However, Boston College did make it interesting briefly with a 7-0 run that cut the VT lead to 71-63 before VT pulled away to win 77-66.
A big reason for Virginia Tech’s improved offensive play in the second half was their lack of turnovers with only 3 turnovers in the first 16 minutes of the second half. Additionally, VT found their shooting rhythm as shown by how they finished the day shooting 46.3% from the field.
Overall, Virginia Tech didn’t shoot the ball as well as they normally did, but they were productive at the free-throw line shooting 20-23 from the charity stripe. The Hokies were also extremely good on the glass today outrebounding Boston College 39-25 including a 10-5 advantage in offensive rebounds.
Player of the Game: Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Was there really anyone else who deserved consideration today? Alexander-Walker played like the star he’s become this season for the Hokies keeping VT in the game in the first half with 12 points before helping give the Hokies’ early second half momentum to go on an 11-0 run that changed the complexion of this game.
Alexander-Walker tied his career high with 25 points on 9-14 shooting from the field including 2-5 from three-point range and 5-7 from the free-throw line. Additionlly, Alexander-Walker had 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 3 rebounds in what was an impressive performance for the future first round pick.
Kerry Blackshear dominated the post finishing with 20 points and 7 rebounds including 2 offensive boards. Blackshear was solid in the first half, but took over in the second half with 14 points while also drawing the fouling out of BC’s top big man Nik Popovic.
Justin Robinson missed his first three shots, but eventually found some much-needed rhythm and confidence on the offensive end finishing with 12 points while leading VT with 8 rebounds and 5 assists in a good performance for the senior point guard.
Ty Outlaw didn’t have his best shooting day going 2-6 from three-point range for 6 points along with 2 assists and a rebound. Ahmed Hill was also cold from the field with 4 points on 1-9 shooting including an 0-5 day from beyond the arc. However, Hill found other ways to get involved with 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Wabissa Bede was productive with 3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 30 minutes while PJ Horne had 4 points and 3 rebounds, and Isaiah Wilkins had 3 points and 1 offensive rebound.
After a slow start, Virginia Tech found their rhythm in the second half using an early 11-0 run to take control of the game and giving themselves a lead that they would never relinquish. Now, only Georgia Tech looms before a potential top 10 showdown at #4 Virginia one week from Tuesday.