Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hokies Edge Clemson, Set Sights On Duke

Led by a gritty performance from sophomore guard Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech defeated #13 Clemson 80-77 on the road in Littlejohn Coliseum Wednesday night.

Despite landing hard on his right side while driving to the basket in the second half, Delaney recovered finishing the game with 26 points and 6 assists, including a blistering 4-7 from three point range.

Senior A.D. Vassallo added 21 points going an equally impressive 4-9 from beyond the arc. Vassallo also knocked down two crucial free throws in the final moments to give Tech the 3-point cushion that proved to be the final margin.

Diminutive sophomore guard Hank Thorns made his first start of the season and was a difference maker for the Hokies. Thorns played 30 minutes, scoring 10 points, dishing out 4 assists and grabbing 3 rebounds. He did a solid job helping Tech navigate the Clemson's full-court press, eventually causing the Tigers to abandon their pressure defense.

With the win, Tech is now 17-10 overall and 7-6 in the ACC. The much needed victory ended the Hokies' three-game losing streak, and has rekindled hopes of an NCAA Tournament birth but the road will be tough.

The Hokies' run through nationally ranked opponents continues Saturday in the friendly confines of Cassell Coliseum against the #7 Duke Blue Devils.

Tech looks to avenge an ugly 69-44 loss to Duke back on Jan. 4. Since joining the ACC, Tech-Duke games in Cassell have been very exciting and hotly contested. The Hokie faithful will certainly be more than ready to help the Hokies continue their run to postseason play.

To help get the juices flowing early, heres an amazingly bad no-call in a recent Duke home game. Of course, it would take a brave official to call something on Duke right in front of their bench.

There won't be such Devil-friendly calls come 3:30 on Saturday...

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