Record-setting night in Hokies' win over The Citadel

The Citadel (1-1) 474693
Virginia Tech (2-0) 6666132
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,275
  • High Points: 29 - N. Alexander-Walker
  • High Rebounds: 15 - Kerry Blackshear Jr.
2017 VIrginia Tech Men's Basketball Ticket Information
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BLACKSBURG – Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored a game-high 29 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 132-93 non-conference victory over The Citadel at Carilion Clinic Court on Sunday night.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 2-0 on the season and beat The Citadel (1-1) for the 19th time in the past 21 meetings between the two schools.

Behind Alexander-Walker and an offense that shot nearly 70 percent from the floor, the Hokies set a record for points in regulation. The school record for points in a game is 141, which came in a double-overtime win over Southern Mississippi on Feb. 6, 1988. The Hokies also set a school record with 36 assists.

Alexander-Walker scored 21 of his points in the first half, as The Citadel simply had no answer for the 6-foot-5 forward. Coming off a 24-point game in his collegiate debut Friday night against Detroit Mercy, he hit 10 of 16 from the floor against the Bulldogs, including three 3-pointers.

“Don’t suck,” Alexander-Walker said of his expectations coming into the season. “Just help in any way possible. Forget what people say and try to make your teammates and your mom proud.”

The Hokies got off to a quick start against an overmatched Bulldogs squad en route to a record-setting evening. Their 131 points are the second-most in school history and the most in a non-overtime game. They also set a school record with 36 assists.

“I think it’s hard to gauge anything when you play a game like that,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “You holler at them for giving up 93 points, but there’s 97 possessions in the game. I don’t know. I honestly don’t know how to gauge it because it’s such a unique style of play … Everything goes against what you teach fundamentally. Everything. On both ends. Everything is against, diametrically opposed … I’m glad it’s over.”

Virginia Tech attacked The Citadel’s press at first and then carved up its zone defense. The Hokies connected on 15 of their first 20 shots and scored 66 points in the first half after shooting 69.2 percent from the field (27 of 39).

The Hokies never trailed in the game and led by as many as 40 points.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. added 22 points and Justin Robinson finished with 19 for Virginia Tech, which shot 68.6 percent from the floor (48 of 70), including 54.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.


Blackshear and Justin Robinson both enjoyed career evenings. Blackshear came within a point of tying his career high in points and he set career highs with 15 rebounds and eight assists. He’s off to a great start following a season in which he took a redshirt year because of a lower leg injury.

“I’m feeling good just being back out here with them,” he said. “I’m just happy that the work that I’ve put in over the summer and last season is paying off, but I want to continue to get better because there are a lot of things that I’m doing wrong and that I know I need to be better at once we get into ACC play. So it’s a good feeling to see growth, but it’s a better feeling to know that I got more to do.”

Robinson, who scored 19 points, set a career high with five 3-pointers.

“Not necessarily,” Robinson said when asked if he was showcasing his 3-point skills. “I’ve been working all summer on becoming a better shooter. Friday [against Detroit Mercy], I went 0 for 2 from the 3-point line, and it just kind of haunted me, so last night, I was in the gym until 11 o’clock getting shots up with one of our assistant coaches. Overall, I want to improve in that aspect since I haven’t really done that since my freshman year.”


Virginia Tech and The Citadel have played 21 times, including three of the four seasons that Williams has been the Hokies’ coach. But Williams hinted that Sunday night’s game might be the last in the series for a while, mainly because The Citadel’s unorthodox style of play creates havoc among its opponents.

“We probably need to pause it,” Williams said. “I just love Duggar [Baucom]. I love his story. You should write a story about his life – it’s incredible. His life and how it’s impacted his coaching career … I just have the utmost respect for who he is and what he’s fought through to get to this point. I cheer for guys like that, so when I can help them because of where I’m at, I want to do that.

“It’s [playing The Citadel] not smart on my part. The official asked me, ‘Why are you playing these guys?’ I said, ‘Because of that guy down there.’ We need to stop that. That’s not a good enough answer.”


The Hokies head to New York City to take on St. Louis at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night as part of the 2K Classic. The game tips off at 7 p.m. Tech and St. Louis have not met in men’s basketball.

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