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Alexander-Walker leads No. 15 Virginia Tech past Miami

Next stop for Hokies is ready for the ACC tourney

Miami center Ebuka Izundu (15) drives to basket against Virginia Tech defenders Nickel Alexander-Walker (4) and Kerry Blackshear Jr (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Blacksburg, Va., Friday, March 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Luther Jr.)

By JIMMY ROBERTSON Associated Press
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and No. 15 Virginia Tech beat Miami 84-70 on Friday night to tie the school record for regular-season victories with 23.
Playing mostly at the point guard, Alexander-Walker was 6 of 14 from the floor, including three 3-pointers for the Hokies (23-7, 12-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). He tied his career high with the eight assists.
Ahmed Hill and Ty Outlaw had strong performances in their last home game for the Hokies. Outlaw scored 19 points, hitting five 3-pointers, and Hill added 17 points and connected on five 3s as well.
Ebuka Izundu and Chris Lykes led Miami (13-16, 5-13) with 16 points each.
Virginia Tech trailed 16-8, but the Hokies found their shooting stroke and buried Miami, outscoring the Hurricanes 32-6 over a span of nearly nine minutes. The Hokies hit six of their nine first-half 3-pointers during that stretch and scored on 13 of 15 possessions.
In the second half, Miami sliced a 45-31 halftime deficit to 11 on a 3-pointer by Zach Johnson, but the Hokies answered with a 14-4 run. Wabissa Bede’s left-handed layup with 12:38 remaining pushed the Hokies’ lead to 61-40 — their biggest margin of the game.
Virginia Tech shot 49.2 percent from the floor (29 of 59) and hit 14 3-pointers.
TIP-INS
Virginia Tech: The Hokies basically played their 10th straight game without point guard Justin Robinson, who has been out with an injured foot. Head coach Buzz Williams ceremoniously started Robinson in his final home. Kerry Blackshear Jr. took the opening tip and tipped it out of bounds, allowing Williams to substitute for Robinson, whom the Hokies hope to get back at some point this season. Robinson was averaging 14.4 points and 5.5 assists before the injury.
Miami: Lykes came into the game averaging 16.2 points — and he finished right on that average. But the sophomore struggled from the floor against the Hokies, hitting just 5 of 15. He missed his first seven 3-point attempts, which was emblematic of Miami’s struggles from the perimeter. The ‘Canes made just six of their 29 3-point attempts.
UP NEXT
ACC Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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