- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 27, 2008

BOSTON (AP) — Virginia Tech’s Hank Thorns chased Boston College’s Tyrese Rice all over the floor for the first 40 minutes, then played like him in the final five.

Thorns scored nine of his 11 points in overtime and Deron Washington had 19 points and eight rebounds to lift Virginia Tech to an 81-73 win over Boston College yesterday.

Thorns, who watched Rice nail four 3s and score on numerous off-balance drives in the lane during the guard’s game-high 27-point effort, hit the biggest shot of all early into the overtime.

After BC grabbed a 68-66 edge, Thorns, the smallest player on the court at 5-9, hit a 3 from in front of his own bench to push the Hokies ahead for good.

“Hank’s not afraid. That’s why he’s here,” Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “He has that ability. You can’t lead unless you get people to follow. That’s who he is.”

Thorns, just 1-for-5 from the floor with three misses from beyond the arc, knew his shot helped his team relax a bit.

“It was just a confidence booster and got us where we needed to be,” he said.

J.T. Thompson and A.D. Vassallo each scored 14 points for the Hokies (12-8, 3-3 ACC) in the team’s first win in Conte Forum after six consecutive losses.

Virginia Tech was coming off an 81-64 loss against No. 4 Duke at home Thursday.

“The second game in three days? If we wanted to make it an issue, it’s an issue,” Greenberg said. “From the second that game ended, I didn’t want to hear about 36 hours [between games].”

Rakim Sanders added 17 points for the Eagles, including a 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds left in regulation that sent the game to overtime.

Cory Raji’s two free throws 1:03 into overtime gave BC (12-6, 3-2) its 68-66 lead, but the Hokies scored the next seven points. After Thorns’ 3 from the left wing, he followed with a breakaway layup and Washington scored in the lane to make it 73-68.

The Eagles closed to 73-70 on Shamari Spears’ putback, but Thorns helped seal it with two free throws in the final 1:20.

“I thought he played good,” Rice said. “He came up huge for them in overtime.”

Virginia Tech led 41-33 at halftime.

The Hokies played without second-leading scorer Jeff Allen, who served the final of his league imposed two-game suspension for inappropriate contact with a referee during last Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech.

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