BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Keve Aluma had 17 points and 12 rebounds and No. 16 Virginia Tech won its 34th consecutive nonconference home game , beating VMI 64-57 on Thursday night.
Tyrece Radford added 13 points and Justyn Mutts had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hokies (4-0). They led 30-23 at halftime and used a 9-0 run in the second half to take control. Radford had five points in the burst, including a three-point play to finish it.
"when it was time to win a game, when it was winning time, I think our team really stepped up and did what we had to do as a unit,” Mutts said.
Myles Lewis had 13 points and 12 rebounds for VMI (2-2). Greg Parham added 12 points.
The Hokies led 36-26 before the Ketdets scored 13 straight to take a 39-36 lead. Trey Bonham finished the run with a steal and layup. The Hokies still trailed 45-41 with just over eight minutes to play before scoring nine straight to reclaim the lead.
Virginia Tech finished with a 48-30 rebounding edge.
“If you’re a rebounder and you know you can grab a rebound or two, go get it. We’re not stopping anybody from crashing or anything and that’s what I like about this team and the coaching staff. If you can do it, go do it,” Radford said. "Don’t try to get out of your character. You know what you can do. You’re a grown man.”
VMI: The Keydets closed to 59-55 on Parham's 3-pointer in the final minute and nearly pulled off the upset.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies shot just 35% (21 of 60) and were just 4 of 27 from 3-points range.
“Our guys have been in the gym all day today and all day the past couple of weeks, so it was just getting on the court today and the shots not falling. Sometimes you’re going to have nights like that where the shots aren’t falling and you have to rely on something else,” Mutts said.
VMI: Hosts Regent on Monday night.
Virginia Tech: Hosts Penn State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday night.