Hokies down North Carolina A&T, notch fifth straight win

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BLACKSBURG - Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 20 points and had four steals to lead No. 13 Virginia Tech to an 80-62 victory over North Carolina A&T in a non-conference game played Wednesday at Carilion Clinic Court.

Alexander-Walker scored 12 points in the second half for Tech, which overcame a somewhat sluggish first half to win its fifth straight game. The Hokies moved to 10-1 on the season, while the Aggies fell to 4-7.

Tech gradually pulled away after sputtering a bit in the first 20 minutes. Despite eight first-half turnovers, the Hokies took control midway through the half, getting a couple of Ahmed Hill 3-pointers during a 14-1 run to grab the lead for good. They also cranked up their defense during that stretch, holding the Aggies - who had won four of their past five games - without a field goal for nearly eight minutes.

The Aggies trailed by a dozen after Milik Gantz's 3-pointer with 15:51 remaining, but the Hokies used a 12-2 run to open a 68-43 lead with 8:38 left. Alexander-Walker and Hill capped the surge with 3's.

Alexander-Walker hit 8 of 14 from the floor, including a couple of 3-pointers, on a night when the Hokies shot 49.2 percent (30 of 61). Kerry Blackshear Jr. added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Justin Robinson had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

The Hokies took care of things on defense as well, holding North Carolina A&T to 45.3 percent shooting (24 of 53) and forcing 14 turnovers.

Quavius Copeland paced the Aggies with 16 points, while Gantz finished with 14.