EditorsNote: minor edits in 4th graf
Justin Robinson scored 18 points and Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 15 in No. 15 Virginia Tech’s 89-68 win over visiting Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday night in Blacksburg, Va.
Alexander-Walker scored 10 first-half points and got help from Robinson and P.J. Horne, who each scored 10 before the break as the Hokies (7-1) took control after the first five minutes.
Horne finished with 12 points on perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the field to go with five rebounds. Isaiah Wilkins came off the bench and tossed in 13 points. Ahmed Hill, the Hokies’ second leading scorer at 14.4 points per game, had an off night, scoring three points before fouling out.
Garrett Gilkeson led the Keydets (5-5) with career-high 21 points. Bubba Parham, who started the night averaging 23 points per game and connected on 10 3-pointers in a loss against Kentucky earlier this season, finished with 12 points.
In the 135th meeting between these two teams, Virginia Tech’s No. 9-ranked scoring defense was on display.
The Hokies held VMI to just 8-of-27 (29.6 percent) shooting from the field and 2 for 11 (18.2 percent) from 3-point range in the first half while also turning seven Keydets’ turnovers into 15 points.
Virginia Tech went on a 13-0 run midway through the first half to take control. Horne, who entered Wednesday with just 15 points on the season, ignited the run with a jumper and a layup to put Virginia Tech up 21-13.
By the time the Keydets ended the drought on Tyler Creammer’s free throw at the 6:42 mark, the Hokies had a 30-14 advantage.
Virginia Tech would extend its lead to 21 as the Hokies took a 42-21 lead into intermission.
The Hokies scored the first 14 points of the second half to open up a 56-21 lead. Ta’Vonne Bond finally ended the VMI drought with a layup at the 16:00 minute mark.
Virginia Tech’s largest lead was 37 points with 11:44 to go in the game, but VMI fought back with a smaller lineup and full-court press to cut the deficit to 17 with just a little more than a minute to go.
—Field Level Media