#20 Virginia Tech upsets #3 Duke, 77-72

virginia tech sportsA Ty Outlaw three with 1:30 to go broke a 70-70 tie, and #20 Virginia Tech made its free throws in the final minute to preserve a 77-72 win over #3 Duke Tuesday night in Blacksburg.

Both teams were playing without star players. Duke played its third game in a week without freshman phenom Zion Williamson, a stretch that has seen the Blue Devils (24-4, 12-3 ACC) lose two of three.

Virginia Tech (22-6, 11-5 ACC) has now been without the services of senior point guard Justin Robinson for an eight-game stretch.

The Hokies recorded their biggest win of that stretch, by far, Tuesday night.

Tech led by three at the break, and held a lead for the bulk of the second half, but a 7-0 Duke run, capped by a Marques Bolden dunk with 1:52 to go, tied the game at 70, and forced a Buzz Williams timeout.

The play out of the timeout led to the open three in the left corner for Outlaw, who finished with 11 points on the night.

The splash put the Hokies ahead to stay.

Cam Reddish missed an open three on Duke’s next possession, and Kerry Blackshear rebounded.

Ahmed Hill missed a three with 32 seconds left, but Blackshear chased down the offensive rebound, and Duke had to foul.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to push the lead to five.

A Tre Jones layup with 12 seconds to go got Duke back to 75-72, but Blackshear made two free throws a second later to push the margin back to five.

Reddish missed from three with eight seconds left, Blackshear rebounded, and Tech ran out the clock.

Blackshear finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Ahmed Hill had 17 for Tech, and Alexander-Walker had 13.

RJ Barrett had 21, 17 in the second half, for Duke, which falls out of a three-way tie for first in the ACC with the loss.

Story by Chris Graham

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