Layup at buzzer send Hokies past Virginia, 70-69
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP)—Deron Washington’s driving layup lingered on the rim and finally fell through at the buzzer of overtime Wednesday night, giving Virginia Tech its first victory in its rival’s home city since the 1967-68 season.
The Hokies (11-6, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) held Virginia without a point for the final 3 1/2 minutes of the extra period in erasing a 69-64 disadvantage. Washington’s winning shot came after he drove around one defender and under another for the shot.
The Cavaliers (10-5, 0-2), coming off consecutive blowout losses at Xavier and Duke, absorbed an even harder one to take in losing for only the third time in 27 games at John Paul Jones Arena, which opened last year. They also lost despite a magnificent performance by Sean Singletary, who had 34 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
But the Hokies, coming off a one-point victory against Maryland on Saturday, didn’t fold in beating the Cavaliers for just the third time in eight ACC meetings.
A.D. Vassallo hit a free throw with 2:28 left and Vassallo hit two more with 2:00 to go, pulling the Hokies within a point. Neither team scored again until the end.
Singletary hit two free throws in overtime and made a steal and fed Adrian Joseph for a layup at the other end in the overtime, giving the Cavaliers a 69-64 lead.
They never scored again.
Vassallo had 22 points to lead the Hokies and Washington and Jeff Allen had 11 each. Washington also blocked a shot by Singletary with just over a minute to go, the crowd jeering the officials thinking a goaltending call should have been made.
Joseph had 11 for Virginia.
The Hokies trailed 63-61 when Allen was fouled hard by Mamadi Diane on a fastbreak. The officials whistled an intentional foul, giving Allen two free throws and Tech the ball. Allen made both to tie it, but Washington missed a shot for the lead.
Virginia immediately called time with 59.1 seconds to play, and again with 36.6 seconds to go, but Calvin Baker’s wide open 3-pointer from the left side missed and the Hokies got only one chance at the other end before it went to overtime.
The Cavaliers trailed 45-44 before Diane hit a free throw and Singletary followed with a steal and layup, the start of a 15-5 run that put them ahead 59-50. Joseph hit two 3-pointers in the run, and center Ryan Pettinella, a 14.3 percent free throw shooter, brought roars from the crowd by making a pair to finish it off.
But Virginia Tech promptly started an 11-2 run to tie it with four minutes left. Vassallo hit two 3-pointers in the beginning of the run, and Washington, whose primary responsibility was trying to slow Singletary down, hit one to tie it with 4:19 left.
Singletary had 23 points by halftime, including 10 in a row for Virginia and 18 of 20. His final basket of the half—a driving layup—gave Virginia a 38-34 lead.