The No. 24 Virginia Tech Hokies defeated the Miami Hurricanes 80-78 on Tuesday evening in Cassell Coliseum to move to 8-1 on the season and 2-0 in ACC play.
The Hokies were considerable favorites entering the game, but Miami kept the pressure on Virginia Tech all night. Tech trailed in the first half before a big run just before the half gave the Hokies a nine-point lead at halftime.
Tech came out hot in the second half, building the lead up to 17 points at one time, but the Hurricanes kept coming back. The ‘Canes hit 10 three-pointers and had an opportunity to tie the game late when Isaiah Wong’s shot rimmed out, and the Hokies got the rebound to preserve a two-point win.
Junior forward Keve Aluma was outstanding for the Hokies, scoring 26 points and pulling down six rebounds. Aluma was unstoppable in the post, and credit goes to Virginia Tech’s guards for continuing to feed him the basketball when it was apparent Miami had no answer for him.
Forward Justyn Mutts had another strong performance, too, finishing with 15 points and leading the team with nine rebounds. Tyrece Radford finished with 13 points, and tied Mutts for the team lead with nine boards.
Guard Jalen Cone came off the bench to score 12 points for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young will not be happy with his defense as the Hokies allowed the Hurricanes to shoot almost 54 percent from the floor. Miami also outrebounded the Hokies 34-28.
Fortunately for Young, the only number that matters is the final score, and the Hokies pulled another one out.
The Hokies head to Charlottesville to face No. 24 Virginia on Saturday.