EditorsNote: Edit 1: Cleaned up fifth graf
Three players scored more than 20 points for No. 16 Virginia Tech on Sunday night as the Hokies made up a double-digit deficit to beat No. 23 Purdue 89-83 for the Charleston (S.C.) Classic championship.
Sophomore Nickeil Alexander-Walker pumped in 25 points while playing the full 40 minutes for the Hokies (4-0). Justin Robinson and Ahmed Hill each added 23, and center Kerry Blackshear contributed 13 points, including a driving layup just before the shot clock expired for an 87-81 lead with 39.8 seconds left.
Point guard Carsen Edwards scored a game-high 26 points for the Boilermakers (4-1). He added seven assists but committed six turnovers. Evan Boudreaux chipped in 18 points and seven rebounds, while Ryan Cline drilled four 3-pointers and tallied 14 points.
Purdue led 50-38 early in the second half, but Virginia Tech rallied, taking the lead when Alexander-Walker drilled a 3-pointer with 12:33 remaining to make it 58-56. The Hokies pushed the lead to six before Edwards rallied the Boilermakers into a 69-69 tie on a driving layup with 6:52 left.
A three-point play by Hill with 3:50 left snapped a 77-77 tie. Hill drained a trey with 3:05 remaining to up the margin to six, and Virginia Tech kept Purdue at bay with offensive execution. It was the first in-season tournament title for the Hokies since 2008.
Purdue landed the first punch, using an 8-1 spurt to take a 14-7 lead on Edwards’ 3-pointer at the 13:39 mark. The Boilermakers’ offensive efficiency kept Virginia Tech at check throughout the first half, leading to a 36-24 advantage on Grady Eifert’s layup with 6:22 left.
The Hokies pushed back late in the half, making a 12-5 run and cutting their deficit to 41-36 when Robinson drained a pair of free throws with 35 seconds on the clock. However, a Nojel Eastern jumper and an Edwards foul shot allowed Purdue to head for the locker room with a 44-36 advantage.
—Field Level Media