Outlaw leads No. 22 Hokies to 76-68 win over Georgia Tech

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Ty Outlaw scored 20 points and No. 22 Virginia Tech defeated Georgia Tech 76-68 on Wednesday night.

Outlaw hit six 3-pointers for the Hokies (19-5, 8-4 ACC), who rallied from a three-point halftime deficit and snapped a two-game losing streak.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker each scored 16 points for the Hokies, who swept the season series and notched their sixth straight win over Georgia Tech (11-14, 3-9).

Michael Devoe paced the Yellow Jackets with 22 points.

After hitting just five 3-pointers in winning an ugly game in Atlanta on Jan. 9, Virginia Tech hit 13 in the victory. The Hokies shot just 34.6 percent in the first half (9 of 26), but heated up behind Outlaw and Blackshear in the second half, shooting 59.3 percent (16 of 27).

The Hokies trailed 35-30 early in the second half, but a 3-pointer by Outlaw with 18:04 remaining started a 17-2 run in which Virginia Tech scored on six of seven possessions to take the lead for good. Georgia Tech missed three shots and turned the ball over twice in that span.

The Yellow Jackets cut the lead to 49-48 on a 3-pointer by Devoe with 8:56 left, but the Hokies answered, with Blackshear converting a three-point play on the ensuing possession. Blackshear later added a free throw and Outlaw connected on a 3-pointer in a 7-0 run, and the Hokies never looked back.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies had been struggling without star point guard Justin Robinson, who missed his fourth straight game with a foot injury. In three previous games without him, they had averaged 54 points and shot 35.6 percent from the floor (32.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc), but they got well against the Yellow Jackets, who came into the game ranked third in the ACC in field-goal percentage defense (38.9 percent).

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets had failed to score 50 points in two of their previous three games, so 68 points and 11 3-pointers certainly were a step in the right direction. But their zone defense let them down in this one, as Virginia Tech’s 13 3-pointers were the most against the Yellow Jackets this season.

After sliding in the polls following Saturday’s loss at Clemson, the Hokies have a chance to move back up with a win at Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Panthers were in last place with a 2-10 conference record heading into Wednesday night play.

The Hokies play at Pittsburgh on Saturday.