- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

BLACKSBURG, VA. (AP) - A.D. Vassallo scored 33 points and the Hokies scored on their first five possessions in the second overtime to overcome a huge night from Duquesne’s Aaron Jackson and win their first-round NIT game 116-108 Wednesday night.

Jackson scored a career-high 46 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Hokies (19-14) from advancing to the second round, where they will host Baylor.

Duquesne (21-13), making its first postseason appearance since the 1994 NIT, closed out its best season since the 1971 team went 21-4.

Jeff Allen added 23 points for Virginia Tech, which led by six with under a minute to go in the first overtime. But the Dukes rallied and tied the game at 94 on Jackson’s layup with less than 2 seconds left.

In the second overtime, Vassallo scored 10 points and the Hokies made all 10 of their free throws to put the game away.

Jackson, a senior from Hartford, Conn., paced the Dukes with a career-high 46 points. He hit 15-of-25 from the floor, including 8-of-13 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also hit 8-of-9 from the free-throw line and had four assists.

His performance was the fourth-best single-game performance in Duquesne history.

The Hokies led by 13 with seven minutes to go in regulation, but the Dukes used a 17-4 run to tie the game, and took a 78-76 lead after Melquan Bolding hit the first of two free throws with 28.6 seconds remaining. But Vassallo hit a floater in the lane with 13.1 seconds to go to tie the game at 78.

On the final possession of regulation, Duquesne’s Eric Evans drove into the lane. But his contested layup came up well short, sending the game into overtime.

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