Virginia
Tech 67, Duke 65
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 2/17/05

Blacksburg, VA -- On January 30th in Durham, the Virginia Tech Hokies scored 65 points and were pounded by 35 by the Duke Blue Devils. Thursday night in Cassell Coliseum, Virginia Tech scored 67 points and won by two. Zabian Dowdell hit a three-pointer with 14.6 seconds left to put the Hokies up 67-65, and Tech made it stand up, beating #7 Duke in a shocker.

In a nip-and-tuck game all the way, Duke's J.J. Redick (7-16, team-high 19 points) hit an awkward floater in the lane with 3:06 to go, tying the game at 60 and setting the stage for a frantic finish.

The Hokies responded with a baby hook from Jeff King, who played 21 minutes because of foul trouble for starter Deron Washington (no points and 4 fouls in 11 minutes). King's bucket came with 2:00 left, giving the tight-end-turned-basketball-player 7 points on the night.

Shelden Williams, who scored 16 points on 6-13 shooting and had a team-high 7 rebounds, answered with a post move that tied the ball game at 62-all with 1:36 remaining. Coleman Collins of Tech grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled with 1:11 to go but missed both free throws.

Redick missed a 17-foot fadeaway with 56 seconds left, and the Hokies reclaimed the lead when Jamon Gordon (17 points) tipped in a miss by Carlos Dixon with 32 seconds to go, putting Tech up 64-62. Dixon led the Hokies with 18 points.

Redick answered with a three-pointer, his third of the game, with 22.9 seconds left to give Duke a 65-64 lead, their first lead in over eight minutes. Dixon took the ball down the floor and drove to the baseline, where he was trapped in a double team and fired the ball out to Dowdell on the perimeter. Dowdell, who was hounded by Daniel Ewing all game and limited to just 8 points to that moment, buried the open three-pointer with 14.6 seconds left, sending the Cassell Coliseum sellout crowd into a frenzy.

The Blue Devils came quickly down the floor, opting not to call a timeout and let the Hokies get their defense set. Instead, Ewing took advantage of VT's unsettled defense to launch a three-pointer from the top of the key, only to have it rim out.

Shavlik Randolph grabbed the rebound in the lane and was confronted by King. Gordon snuck up behind Randolph and tied him up with 4.9 seconds left. The possession arrow pointed to the Blue Devils, who called a timeout to set up a final play.

The next few minutes were interminable. VT followed Duke's timeout with one of their own, and finally, the Blue Devils inbounded the ball from underneath their own basket. Ewing threw the ball out to Redick far outside the three-point line, and Redick threw it back to the cutting Ewing just outside the arc. Ewing got a good look and launched an open three-pointer, but he missed it. Dixon rebounded it, setting off a wild celebration as the students spilled out onto the court.

Dowdell's three-pointer, his first points in over 19 minutes, was the play of the game, but Tech's player of the game was Collins, who posted an eye-popping stat line: 14 points, 18 rebounds, 5 blocks and no fouls in 39 minutes, all while matched up against Shelden Williams, one of college basketball's best big men. Williams' 16 points and 7 rebounds were a far cry from his dominating 25-point, 17-rebound performance in Durham.

The 18-rebound performance by Collins is the most since Ace Custis had that same number against New Mexico State in the quarterfinals of the 1995 NIT in Cassell Coliseum. Custis had 19 against Southern Mississippi in the 1994-95 season. Collins had 8 offensive rebounds in the game, one less than the entire Duke team.

Collins led a great team rebounding effort by the Hokies, who came into the game with the ACC's worst rebounding margin at -4.7 per game. The Hokies throttled Duke on the boards though, winning the rebounding battle 49-32. VT had an amazing 19 offensive rebounds, spurring the Hokies to a 14-2 advantage in second-chance points.

The offensive rebounding more than made up for a -6 in the turnover margin category. The Hokies turned the ball over 14 times to just 8 for Duke, resulting in a slim 14-12 advantage for Duke in points off turnovers.

There was yet another bizarro stat for the Hokies: VT's bench outscored Duke's bench 7-4, with all of Tech's bench points coming from King. Though the Hokies used 12 players in the game, the starters accumulated major minutes: 39 for Collins and Gordon, 38 for Dixon, and 37 for Dowdell.

The Hokies hung with Duke for the entire game, taking an early 20-12 lead on a transition jumper by Dixon with 9:53 left in the first half. Duke fought back and led 36-35 at half time, then outscored Tech 12-6 to open the second half and take a 48-41 lead with 14:27 left on a steal and dunk by Ewing.

The Hokies were teetering at that point, but Duke was accommodating, missing an open three-pointer (Redick) and turning it over two straight times, allowing VT to close it to 48-45. The Hokies finally got back the lead on a three-pointer by Dixon with 8:36 remaining, setting up the back-and-forth conclusion to the game.

The foul calls, a big point of discussion after Duke took 49 free throws in Durham against the Hokies, were nearly even this time around, with Tech being whistled for 16 fouls to 15 for Duke. Both teams took 18 free throws, with Tech making 14 to Duke's 13. Tech racked up 12 blocks to 8 for Duke.

The win is Tech's first over a top-10 team since they beat #2 Memphis State on February 1, 1986, over 19 years ago. The game lifts the Hokies to 13-10 overall and 6-6 in the ACC, tying them in fourth place with Maryland and Miami, who visits Blacksburg Saturday for a 7 p.m. non-televised game.

The Hokies have had to snap back from losses this season, but now they must snap back from a win and get ready for the 'Canes. That might be hard for Dowdell, who apparently lost his jersey in the post-game hysteria. As hundreds of fans milled around on the court cheering, VT's public address announcer could be heard requesting "Whoever has Zabian Dowdell's jersey, please return it to the scorer's table. It's the only one."

Indeed, Dowdell's jersey was "the only one" -- the only loss the Hokies suffered this historic night in Cassell Coliseum.


DUKE (65)

                          fg    ft    rb             
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t   a  pf   tp
S Williams          36  6-13   4-6   1-7   0   1   16
S Randolph          20   3-4   0-2   2-2   0   4    6
J Redick            36  7-16   2-2   0-3   5   4   19
D Ewing             38  5-14   1-2   0-6   1   3   13
S Dockery           35   1-5   4-4   1-4   2   2    7
L Melchionni        12   0-4   2-2   0-1   0   1    2
D Nelson             4   0-1   0-0   0-0   0   0    0
R Love              19   1-2   0-0   2-4   0   0    2
  
_____________________________________________________
TOTALS             200 23-59 13-18  6-27   8  15   65
_____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.390, FT-.722. 3-Point Goals:
6-22, .273 (J Redick 3-8, D Ewing 2-8, S 
Dockery 1-3, L Melchionni 0-3). Team 
Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 8 (S Williams 4, 
R Love, D Ewing, L Melchionni, S Randolph). 
Turnovers: 8 (D Ewing 4, S Randolph 2, S 
Williams, L Melchionni). Steals: 7 (J Redick 
3, D Ewing 2, S Dockery, D Nelson).


VIRGINIA TECH (67)

                          fg    ft    rb             
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t   a  pf   tp
D Washington        11   0-3   0-0   1-3   0   4    0
C Dixon             38  8-18   1-1   2-9   3   4   18
C Collins           39  6-18   2-4  8-18   0   0   14
Z Dowdell           37   3-8   3-3   1-3   2   0   11
J Gordon            39  6-12   5-6   3-6   1   2   17
S Harris             2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   1    0
W Witherspoon        1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0    0
R Krabbendam         1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   1    0
M Cooke              3   0-0   0-0   0-1   0   0    0
A Calloway           2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0    0
J King              21   2-5   3-4   1-4   1   3    7
C Tucker             6   0-0   0-0   0-1   1   1    0
  
_____________________________________________________
TOTALS             200 25-64 14-18 16-45   8  16   67
_____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.391, FT-.778. 3-Point Goals:
3-8, .375 (C Dixon 1-3, Z Dowdell 2-4, J 
Gordon 0-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots:
12 (C Collins 5, J Gordon 4, D Washington 3).
Turnovers: 14 (Z Dowdell 4, J Gordon 3, J 
King 3, C Dixon 2, C Collins, D Washington). 
Steals: 3 (C Collins 2, Z Dowdell).


-----------------------------------
DUKE                 36  29   -  65
VIRGINIA TECH        35  32   -  67
----------------------------------- 

Technical fouls: None. A: 9,847. Officials: Jamie 
Luckie, John Cahill, Ray Natili


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