Alexander-Walker’s 18 points helps Hokies beat Eagles in OT

BOSTON (AP) Virginia Tech got another chance when Boston College’s potential game-winner rimmed out at the end of regulation and the Hokies didn’t let a lead slip away the second time.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker nailed a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:57 left in overtime and finished with 18 points, Justin Bibbs also scored 18 and Virginia Tech beat Boston College 85-80 on Wednesday night despite blowing a seven-point lead in the closing 64 seconds of regulation.

”Now I begin,” Hokies coach Buzz Williams said as he started chanting in the huddle with his team in Latin before the overtime began.

”Of all the things that happened – the crazy stuff that happened to close the game on the road – now we begin,” he said. ”That was all I talked about.”

Kerry Blackshear Jr. led the Hokies (16-6, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 20 points and eight rebounds. Virginia Tech has won three straight.

”It was just a new game, new energy,” Blackshear said. ”Just win the game.”

Jerome Robinson paced the Eagles (13-9, 3-6) with 32 points and Ky Bowman scored 22 with nine rebounds and eight assists. BC lost its third in a row.

Alexander-Walker’s 3 from the left wing pushed the Hokies ahead 82-79. Blackshear then had a basket in the lane, pushing their lead to five.

With BC trailing 71-64 with 1:04 to play, Jerome Robinson nailed five free throws in one possession after he was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and Chris Clarke was whistled for a technical by referee Ted Valentine as the pair walked up the floor.

After Bibbs missed a driving shot on Virginia Tech’s ensuing possession, Robinson was fouled and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 with 22.7 seconds left to tie the game at 71.

Justin Robinson missed a shot in the lane in the closing seconds before the Eagles grabbed the rebound and hustled up the floor. Jordan Chatman fired a pass to Jerome Robinson, who had a 3 from the left wing bounce out as the buzzer sounded, sending it to OT.

”I thought it was a good shot,” Jerome Robinson said. ”A little quick. I saw there was only a second left. I thought it was going in.”

BC coach Jim Christian thought it was the best look they could get with the clock winding down.

”Four seconds to go, you’re lucky to get one off,” he said. ”A forty-nine percent 3-point shooter, I think that’s about as good of a shot as you’re ever going to get.”

After having its 11-point lead sliced to 48-47, Virginia Tech had gone on a 14-3 run over a 4:38 stretch midway into the second half.

Clarke, Alexander-Walker and Ahmed Hill each nailed a 3-pointer in the key run.

”We’re down 10 with under four to go, I thought our kids showed great courage, great heart,” Christian said. ”We fought to get to the overtime and had a shot to win it.”

The Hokies led by five at halftime and pushed it to 42-31 by scoring eight of the initial 10 points, capping the spree with Robinson’s two free throws after a technical was called on Christian.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are climbing up the league standings, building on their upset over then-No. 10 North Carolina at home last week, which triggered a two-game winning streak.

Boston College: The Eagles need to start handling the ball better. They had 16 turnovers after 17 in their last game, at Syracuse, and 16 in the one before. . Steffon Mitchell was back in the lineup after leaving the last game with a concussion.

LONG-RANGE MATCHUP

The game featured two of the top three teams in the conference in 3-point shots made. Virginia Tech came in leading the league, averaging 9.24 per game and BC was third at 8.71.

The Hokies finished with 12 and the Eagles had 10.

NICE CLOSE

The Hokies went just 5 of 19 on treys in the opening half, but nailed their final two – coming in the last 43 seconds – to give them a 34-29 edge at intermission.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: Hosts Miami on Saturday.

Boston College: Concludes a two-game homestand Sunday against Georgia Tech.