No. 24 Virginia Tech holds off Miami 80-78 in ACC battle

Virginia Tech's Keve Aluma 22 is fouled by Miami's Isaiah Wong 2 in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Blacksburg, Va., Tuesday December 29 2020. Virginia Tech won the game 80-78. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool) (MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times, Matt Gentry)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Keve Aluma scored a career-high 26 points and No. 24 Virginia Tech made crucial free throws in the final minute on the way to an 80-78 victory over Miami. The Hokies won their fourth straight game and will enter 2021 atop of the ACC standings. Isaiah Wong and Matt Cross paced Miami with 16 points apiece.

“Didn’t play very well and sometimes you take a win and keep on moving. We have a lot of film we can look at. We didn’t handle some things very well,” said Hokies head coach Mike Young.

Keve Aluma on his career-high 26 points, “Just try to be aggressive and stay locked in at all times. Sometimes I tend to lose my head and not stay focused so just try to do that.”

Virginia Tech improves to 8-1 this season while Miami falls to 4-3.

It wasn’t the greatest shooting performance for the Hokies who shot 47.5 percent for the game, 39.1 percent from 3-point range and 61.9 percent from the free-throw line. But the defense did grab a season-high 12 steals over the Hurricanes.

Up next for the Hokies, a 4 p.m. tipoff with state rival and No. 23 Virginia on Saturday.