The Latest: No. 16 Virginia Tech tops Ball State 73-64
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the Charleston Classic (all times local):
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 the Alabama-Northeastern loser on Friday.
The Charleston Classic announced its field for next year with Xavier, Miami, Florida and UConn leading the eight-team event in 2019.
The remaining teams are Missouri State, Penn State, St. Joseph’s and Towson.
The event is scheduled for Nov. 21-24 next year. Miami is a two-time Charleston champion, having won in 2009 and 2014.
On Thursday, No. 16 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Purdue are among ranked teams that open play in the classic.
No. 16 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Purdue will get their strongest tests of the early season when they play in the Charleston Classic.
The eight-team field features five teams that played in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
The Hokies (1-0) of the Atlantic Coast Conference open play Thursday against Ball State (1-1). The Boilermakers (2-0) of the Big Ten begin action later in the day against Appalachian State (1-1).
Other games in the first round include Alabama (2-0) of the Southeastern Conference against Northeastern (1-1) and Wichita State (1-1) against Davidson (2-0).
Virginia Tech is expected to remain without suspended senior forward Chris Clarke. He was suspended indefinitely by the school last month.
Purdue leans heavily on Carsen Edwards, the junior guard who was first-team All-Big Ten selection a season ago. He’s combined for 53 point in the Boilermakers’ two victories.
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