Virginia Tech stuns Duke
Published 1:21 am Sunday, January 7, 2007
By By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer
DURHAM — Virginia Tech had its heart broken in this situation before, clinging to a slim lead in the final moments at hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Last year, Duke’s Sean Dockery crushed the Hokies’ spirit with a 40-footer at the buzzer. As the seconds ticked away Saturday, it looked like it would be Greg Paulus’ turn.
That’s when Washington did something.
He blocked Paulus’ 3-point shot as time expired in overtime, ensuring there would be no last-second heroics for No. 5 Duke and sealing the Hokies’ 69-67 upset of the Blue Devils.
Jamon Gordon gave Virginia Tech (11-4, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) the lead for good with 31 seconds left in overtime. After a timeout, the Hokies worked the ball to Gordon and he slashed to the basket and floated a shot over the Duke defense for a 68-67 lead.
David McClure missed an 18-footer on Duke’s next possession, and the Blue Devils (13-2, 0-1) were forced to foul A.D. Vassallo with 7.5 seconds left. He made the first free throw, but missed the second.
After a sloppy trip up the court, Washington blocked Paulus’ shot at the buzzer, sealing the Hokies’ biggest win in years and giving them redemption for their last-second defeat here last season.
Greenberg was referring to the 100-65 loss in the Hokies’ first visit to Cameron as a member of the ACC.
That wasn’t the first time in this game Washington and Paulus encountered one another, either. Washington generated one of the season’s more memorable highlights by hurdling the 6-foot-1 point guard for a layup to give the Hokies a 62-59 lead with 3 minutes left in regulation.
Zabian Dowdell had 20 points to lead the Hokies, who became just the fourth unranked team since 1998 to beat Duke at Cameron.
DeMarcus Nelson had 22 points for the Blue Devils, who had a nine-game winning streak snapped, while Josh McRoberts had 16 points and 10 rebounds after a miserable first half in which he was 0-for-3 from the field with three points.
Gordon finished with 17 points and Washington and Coleman Collins each had 11 for the Hokies, who snapped a seven-game losing streak to ranked teams. The last Top 25 team they beat was Duke, when the then-No. 7 Blue Devils lost in Blacksburg in February 2005.
Jon Scheyer had 12 points and Gerald Henderson added 10 for Duke. Paulus — who entered averaging 8.1 points per game — was held scoreless and was criticized by his coach for his shot selection with his team down two points in the game’s final moments.
Virginia Tech dominated Duke for much of regulation, but the Blue Devils forced overtime when Nelson’s 3-pointer with 18 seconds left tied it at 64. The Hokies inbounded the ball and worked it to Dowdell, whose 18-footer from the wing missed as time expired.
The Hokies had almost the entire team back from the one that lost the heartbreaker at Duke last season when they led by one point with 1.6 seconds left only to see the Blue Devils win 77-75 on Dockery’s miracle shot.