Sports

Virginia Tech tops No. 5 Duke, punches ticket to NCAA Tournament

Virginia Tech tops No. 5 Duke, punches ticket to NCAA Tournament

Robinson's objective was clear, and Clarke was on the same page. Less than 20 seconds later, Clarke followed with a putback of an air-balled jumper by Nickeil Alexander-Walker, capping Tech's 64-63 win and likely solidifying a bid to the NCAA tournament for the Hokies.

"I knew when I came in, I needed to be the most energetic on the floor, because I was definitely going to bring energy", Clarke said.

Monday night, his Hokies added their own highlight to the reel.

Grayson Allen's final 3-point heave was short and Bagley III's tip-in was after the buzzer, giving Virginia Tech another signature win to a resume that includes victories over Virginia, Clemson and North Carolina. Virginia Tech ranks 287th nationally in rebounds per game at 33.4, which helps explains its struggles in the post.

As part of that stretch, Duke won 74-52 against the Hokies less than two weeks ago in Durham, N.C. This was also Tech's fourth win this season over a team ranked in the AP Top 25 - a school record. Meanwhile, #5 Duke came into Cassell Coliseum on a five-game winning streak as they started to live up to the scary potential that many believed they had at the beginning of the season. Duke outrebounded the Hokies 36-19 and Virginia Tech drew just six fouls.

"I thought we wouldn't get another chance".

As a Kentucky fan, watching Duke lose is always a great night but when you watch the final moments of the game to CĂ©line Dion's My Heart Will Go On, it makes it even better, right? After a brief review by officials with 23 seconds remaining, Tech was awarded possession. "I was anxious to get back in there. They make big plays, hustle plays, energy plays, and that's what wins the game for them".

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Azura Stevens led all scorers with 21 points and Katie Lou Samuelson had 14 for the Huskies (29-0, 16-0 American), who are now 98-0 in games against American Athletic Conference opponents. He checked in with 9:03 remaining and stayed on the court for the duration.

The Lady Bears (28-1, 18-0) led 21-19 in the second quarter before a five-point possession sparked a 19-3 run that made it an 18-point game early in the third, and West Virginia didn't challenge again.

Alexander-Walker kept Tech in the game in the first half. He returned, and said after the game he'll get treatment on the injury.

The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 160 points with Duke opening as a 5.5-point favorite. He played the rest of the way, when he scored all eight of his points. Allen was just 4-of-15 on 3-point attempts. The change also gave the Blue Devils three starters 6-foot-10 or taller against a team with just one rotation player taller than 6-foot-6.

Carter Jr. has averaged 15.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks over the last five games for Duke.

The Hokies head coach felt compelled to address the home crowd in the last few minutes of the game to reprimand the fans for cursing and throwing things.


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