No. 16 Virginia Tech takes Ball State in tourney opener

College Basketball
Virginia Tech Ball State Basketball_1542328907782

Virginia Tech’s Justin Robinson, right, dives for a loose ball against Ball State’s Josh Thompson in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Charleston Classic at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C., Thursday Nov. 15, 2018, (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 21 points for No. 16 Virginia Tech and opened the Charleston Classic with a 73-64 victory over Ball State.

The Hokies (2-0) watched a 16-point lead slip to 49-44 midway through the second half before going on a 14-4 run to take control.

Virginia Tech will play the winner of the next game, Alabama vs. Northeastern, in Friday’s semifinals.

Tayler Persons led Ball State (1-2) with 21 points. The Cardinals will play Alabama on Friday.

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