- The Washington Times - Monday, February 9, 2009

From combined dispatches


Virginia Tech 91, N.C. State 87 (OT): A.D. Vassallo made four free throws in the final 16.4 seconds of overtime Sunday to seal the Hokies win against the Wolfpack.

The Hokies (15-7, 5-3 ACC) rallied from a late 18-point deficit to end their six-game losing streak against the Wolfpack (12-9, 2-6). They also moved to 9-1 in ACC overtime games all-time.

“Everyone asks, ‘Do [the Wolfpack] have your number?’ ” Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “No, but there are certain matchups that are tougher for us. There are certain matchups that we have to make decisions on that are tough for us when we have to play them.”

The game marked Virginia Tech’s biggest comeback in an ACC game since joining the league in 2004.

“This is life in the ACC,” Greenberg said. “There is no quit in anyone. You have to put your arms around a game and finish it, and that’s what we did today. I thought our resiliency was pretty special.”

Virginia Tech used strong defense in the final 10 minutes of the second and rallied to tie the score at 76-76 on a short jumper by Vassallo over N.C. State’s Courtney Fells.

“Coach told me to take my time and make a play,” Vassallo said. “[Fells] gave me my left, so I went to my left and pulled up and made a shot.”

Greenberg said he knew whose hands he wanted on the ball for the game-tying shot.

“We knew coming out of that timeout that we were going to go to A.D.,” Greenberg said. “And he delivered once again.”

The Wolfpack called a timeout to set up a final play, but Ben McCauley lost the ball going up for a contested shot in the post and Vassallo came up with the ball after a scramble. Virginia Tech called a timeout with less than one second left but turned the ball over to send the game to overtime.

The Hokies held the Wolfpack to one field goal in the final 9:51 of regulation - although McCauley scored eight points at the line - and closed the second half on a 21-10 run. In the extra frame, Vassallo and Terrell Bell hit baskets on back-to-back possessions to give the Hokies a four-point lead. Virginia Tech never looked back.

Vassallo’s free throws with 16.4 seconds left gave the Hokies an 89-84 lead. Javier Gonzalez cut the lead to two with a 3-pointer for N.C. State, but Vassallo hit two more free throws with 8.7 seconds left to give Virginia Tech a four-point lead and ice the win.

“It feels great,” Vassallo said. “At least now I can say that we’ve beaten everyone since I’ve been here, but it’s not just that. We’re now 5-3 and in third in the ACC. That makes it even better.”

Vassallo led the Hokies with 24 points, Jeff Allen added 21 and Malcolm Delaney finished with 18. J.T. Thompson scored 12 off the bench.

Vassallo hit 10 of 17 from the floor. The Hokies hit 19 of their final 34 attempts.

McCauley paced the Wolfpack with 25 points and 15 rebounds and hit 13 of 15 free throws. His final total was one point short of his career high.


NO. 17 VIRGINIA 69, VIRGINIA TECH 61: Lyndra Littles scored 23 points and Monica Wright added 22 to help the Cavaliers rally past the Hokies in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers (19-5, 5-3 ACC) trailed by as many as 15 points early in the first half before switching to a zone that led to 12 consecutive defensive stops and fueled a scoring spree that tied the score at 25-25.

Lindsay Biggs scored 14 points to lead Virginia Tech (11-13, 1-8), which made 10 of its first 12 shots. Utahya Drye and Laura Haskins each added 11 points in the loss.

GEORGE MASON 63, GEORGIA STATE 59: Brittany Poindexter and Brittany Eley scored 14 points each as the Patriots defeated the Panthers at Patriot Center.

Crystal Johnson led the Panthers with 12 points and nine rebounds.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, 55, RHODE ISLAND 48: Jessica Adair scored 15 points and added 12 rebounds as the Colonials defeated the Rams at Smith Center.

Sierra Cooper scored 20 points and added five rebounds for the Rams.

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