Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 19 points and No. 16 Virginia Tech was propelled by a strong start to defeat Miami 71-56 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament’s second round Wednesday afternoon at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Ty Outlaw poured in 14 points, Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 12 points and Isaiah Wilkins had 10 points for the Hokies. Blackshear pulled down 10 rebounds.
Virginia Tech scored the game’s first 11 points, including three 3-pointers from Outlaw during that stretch.
Fifth-seeded Virginia Tech (24-7) takes on fourth-seeded Florida State in Thursday afternoon’s quarterfinals. Florida State won their only matchup this season, in overtime during the final week of the regular season.
The Hokies had to steady themselves after a 20-point lead shrunk to seven points barely five minutes into the second half. About seven minutes later, it was a 60-40 lead, capped by Ahmed Hill’s 3-point basket.
Chris Lykes tallied 19 points and DJ Vasiljevic knocked in 17 points for 12th-seeded Miami (14-18), which shot 33.9 percent from the field. Lykes exited with an apparent leg or ankle injury with 3:24 remaining.
The Hokies’ early lead grew to 33-13. Virginia Tech led 38-21 at halftime, with 7-for-13 shooting on 3-pointers accounting for a bulk of that scoring. Overall, the Hokies hit at 53.9 percent in the half compared to Miami’s 33.3 percent.
Virginia Tech ended up 11-for-27 on 3-point shots. Six different players made at least one 3-pointer.
Five of Miami’s eight first-half field goals were 3-pointers. Only a banked-in 3-point basket from Lykes at the buzzer prevented a 20-point halftime spread.
Miami was unable to repeat its 2010 tournament success as the 12th seed when it knocked off a fifth-seeded Wake Forest team.
This was a rematch of the regular-season finale, which Virginia Tech won 84-70 at home Friday night. Miami was coming off Tuesday’s 79-71 victory against Wake Forest in the tournament’s first round.
—Field Level Media