CHARLESTON, S.C. - Ahmed Hill hit a deep 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to give Virginia Tech men's basketball a 20-point lead it would not relinquish, downing Northeastern 88-60 on Friday afternoon at TD Arena in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic.
With the win, the No. 16/17 Hokies (3-0) will take on the winner of No. 23/22 Purdue (3-0) versus Davidson (3-0) on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Hill finished with 15 points and was one of three Hokies to hit three triples, as Justin Robinson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker did so, too. Alexander-Walker scored 20 or more points for the third straight game and Robinson poured in 19. The Huskies (2-2) were paced by Tomas Murphy, who tallied a team-high 11 points.
Robinson hit a triple to begin the game and scored eight points to lead Tech to a 21-15 advantage at the 8:34 mark. Northeastern would come back, though, taking a 24-23 lead on a 9-2 run, its only advantage of the day.
"Their counter to our defense was to take and make a lot of 3s," Tech coach Buzz Williams said, "and we were finally able to make the adjustment after they went up one."
But it would be short-lived, as Hill came down the court and answered with a 3-pointer and Tech made adjustments defensively to spark a 23-2 run, giving it a 46-26 lead heading into the locker room.
But right before the clock went to zero, Hill buried a 30-footer, which was ironically similar to Robinson's buzzer beater yesterday versus Ball State right before halftime.
"I didn't catch the full view of five [Justin Robinson] making his yesterday," Williams said. "But I thought the poise that Med [Ahmed Hill] played with, he could've easily shot the ball with 2 seconds left and shot an airball, so I got excited and thought he played that particular situation perfectly."
Out of the break, the Huskies would cut it to a 16-point deficit following a bucket from Murphy at the 13:22 mark, but Tech answered with a run of its own going up by as many as 32.
- Robinson finished in double figures for the 10thstraight game, dating back to Feb. 17, 2018, versus Georgia Tech. The senior also distributed four assists.
- Alexander-Walker led the Hokies in scoring for the third consecutive contest and is averaging 20.7 points per game on a 52.3 shooting percentage. He also dished out a career-high seven assists, topping his previous best of four which he did three times in 2017-18.
- Kerry Blackshear Jr. was the other Hokie who finished in double figures, posting 12 points, three rebounds and a season-high four assists.
- Ty Outlaw recorded six points, a team-high seven rebounds, including three offensive, and two assists.
- The Hokies got it done on the defensive end too, forcing 18 Northeastern turnovers, as well as inside, outscoring the Huskies 36-12 in the paint.
STAT OF THE GAME
- Tech shot 58.1 percent from the field, including 51.9 percent from 3-point range with 14 triples. The last time Tech hit 14 from downtown was on Jan. 27, 2017, against Notre Dame.
WHAT IS NEXT
- The Hokies get Saturday off and will be back at it on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 in the title game of the Charleston Classic. Tech will play in its first championship-type game (nonconference tournament, ACC tournament, NIT or NCAA tournament) in the Buzz Williams era.