CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- In one of his most impressive performances to date, sophomore Nickeil Alexander-Walker went off to lead No. 12/11 Virginia Tech's men's basketball team to an 82-70 win over Miami (Fla.) at Watsco Center on Wednesday night.
The guard filled up his stat line with tying a season-high 25 points, four rebounds, five assists and a career-high six steals, leading the Hokies (17-3, 6-2 ACC) to their sixth win in the month of January. Chris Lykes led the way for the Hurricanes (9-11, 1-7), posting a team-high 19 points and four assists.
Alexander-Walker got Tech started in the early going, scoring nine of Tech's first 13 points to give it a one-point lead at 13-12 the first 10 minutes of play. Miami's Anthony Lawrence made a layup to give the Hurricanes their biggest lead of the game at three, 18-15, but the Hokies responded with a 10-0 run behind Alexander-Walker and senior Justin Robinson scoring five points each to regain the lead it would not relent.
Graduate student Ty Outlaw hit a 3-pointer and Alexander-Walker made a 15-footer, giving Tech a 34-27 halftime lead. Redshirt sophomore Kerry Blackshear Jr. had eight rebounds in just 10 minutes of action in the first frame.
The second half began with a hot start for Tech, as graduate student Ahmed Hill connected from downtown out of an inbounds play and on the ensuing possession, Wabissa Bede drilled a 3-pointer to force a Miami timeout not even one minute after intermission.
The Hokies would keep their momentum, as Alexander-Walker swiped a steal at mid-court and slammed it home, followed by a three-point play by Robinson to give them a 15-point advantage (47-32) at the 16:46 mark.
Trailing by as many as 21 points, the 'Canes would start chipping away at the deficit and cut it to 11 twice. But Tech kept its foot on the pedal and would never allow Miami to trim it to single digits behind Outlaw hitting two 3-pointers in the final minutes.