No. 16 Virginia Tech, Northeastern win at Charleston Classic
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Northeastern forward Jeremy Miller loves playing Power Five opponents. He and his teammates made sure the Huskies got a chance to play another by routing Alabama at the Charleston Classic.
Vasa Pusica had 20 points while Miller and Bolden Brace had 11 points each as the Huskies (2-1) advanced to the tournament semifinals with a 68-52 victory over the Crimson Tide on Thursday.
The win was the program’s first over a Southeastern Conference school and set up a game Friday with No. 16 Virginia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference with a spot in the eight-team tournament finals on the line.
Miller says the Huskies can’t wait — and the higher the stakes the better.
“Everyone’s hype, everyone’s really into it” against Power Five opposition, he said. “I think it brings out a different side to us.”
Miller, a senior, was part of the team that stunned Michigan State 83-71 in December 2016. He’s ready to go up against the Hokies (2-0), who advanced with a 73-64 win over Ball State.
“We have something to prove this year,” Miller said.
Pusica went 4 of 4 on 3-pointers and had team highs with five assists and three steals.
No. 23 Purdue takes on Appalachian State while Wichita State and Davidson finish out the opening round.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 21 points for a second straight game to lead Virginia Tech.
Alexander-Walker said the Hokies took steps forward on offense and defense from their first game, an 87-59 win over Gardner-Webb last Friday.
Their preparation was better, their defense was sharper and they showed more intensity going after rebounds, Alexander-Walker said.
“Locking in on the things that aren’t seen to win,” he said.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. had 18 points and a team-best seven rebounds while Justin Robinson scored 15 points for Virginia Tech.