Cone gets 18 off bench as No. 24 Virginia Tech tops Longwood

Virginia Tech's Jalen Cone 15 shoots a 3-pint  basket   in the first half of the Longwood - Virginia Tech NCAA basketball game in Blacksburg Va. Monday December 21 2020.  (AP Photo /  MATT GENRTY, The Roanoke Times, Pool)
Virginia Tech's Jalen Cone 15 shoots a 3-pint basket in the first half of the Longwood - Virginia Tech NCAA basketball game in Blacksburg Va. Monday December 21 2020. (AP Photo / MATT GENRTY, The Roanoke Times, Pool) (Matt Gentry)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Jalen Cone scored 18 points off the bench to lead No. 24 Virginia Tech over Longwood 84-58. Cone shot 6 of 15 from the floor – all 3-pointers – for the Hokies, who struggled for 30 minutes but heated up down the stretch to win their third consecutive game.

Keve Aluma added 14 points and Joe Bamisile finished with 11, leading a balanced Virginia Tech offense as 10 players scored.

Leslie Nkereuwem paced Longwood with 10 points. The Lancers trailed 45-40 after a basket by Juan Munoz with 11:39 remaining. The Hokies, though, scored on their next 13 possessions to pull away.

“I thought we competed and were very responsible defensively,” said Hokies head coach Mike Young.

“We had some tough breaks but but some of the credit goes to Longwood. Those kids came in here with a good plan, they really played hard and they competed with us. Big game for them, big game for us so not a lot of changes just do it better, do it better and continue to grind on it.”

Virginia Tech will now turn its attention to ACC play, welcoming in Miami on Dec. 29

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)