CHARLOTTE, NC - Virginia Tech played the final third of the regular season without Justin Robinson, considered to be the heart and soul of the team. That time helped the Hokies down the stretch and in the 2nd round of the ACC Tournament.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Ty Outlaw combined to score 33 points for the Hokies, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament after they beat Miami 71-56.
The Hokies jumped out to an 11-0 lead to start the game, behind Outlaw and Blackshear, who combined to score all 11. Outlaw scored nine of his 14 points in the first four plus minutes.
Prior to the game, Outlaw received the ACC Bo Bradley award for spirit and coverage. He missed two separate seasons due to a heart condition and an injured knee.
"I've been through a lot," Outlaw said after the game. "I'm glad they gave me an award for it. But I wasn't doing it for an award obviously."
Blackshear recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds for Virginia Tech, who jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead.
Miami tried to make it interesting early in the second half, behind a 14-4 run keyed by Chris Lykes.
Lykes scored seven of his team high 19 points during that run.
Virginia Tech pulled away midway in the second half behind a 20-5 run that sends the Hokies to the quarterfinals where they will meet Florida State, who Tech lost to in Tallahassee last week in overtime.
"Obviously we didn't do very well in the second half against Florida St.," Head Coach Buzz Williams stated. "Thankful that we have another chance."
"I'm looking forward to it," said Hokies guard Nickeil Alexander Walker. "It's a chance for us to go to the semifinals. The last meeting definitely left a sour taste in our mouth."
You can watch Virginia Tech vs. Florida State at 3 p.m. on WTVR CBS 6.
The University of Virginia takes on N.C. State at 12:30 p.m.