Feb. 25, 2009
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Malcolm Delaney scored 26 points and Virginia Tech ended a three-game losing streak with an 80-77 victory over No. 12 Clemson on Wednesday night.
Delaney put the Hokies (17-10, 7-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) ahead for good with 7 minutes left, then kept pushing them forward to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive.
Clemson (22-5, 8-5) had a final shot to tie the game, but Demontez Stitt missed a desperation 3-point try.
The Hokies jumped on the court with Delaney leading the cheers. His latest performance capped an amazing two games against the Tigers this season. He had 37 points last month – still tops in the ACC this year – in Clemson’s 86-82 win at Blacksburg.
Delaney didn’t start out well, shooting 3-of-10 from the field for nine points in the first half. He and his teammates picked up the pace in the second half. Delaney hit three of his four 3-pointers down the stretch and the Hokies were 7-of-11 from behind the arc in the second half.
Terrence Oglesby had 22 points, including six 3-pointers, for Clemson. However, he couldn’t get free on the Tigers’ final play and Stitt had to force up a wild shot that did not have a chance of going in.
Trevor had 21 points and 11 rebounds, his 10th double-double of the season, for the Tigers and K.C. Rivers also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
A.D. Vassallo added 21 points for Virginia Tech, which had lost its past four games to Clemson.
Delaney’s free throw broke a 68-all tie with 6:42 to go. He hit his last 3-pointer with 3:35 remaining to put the Hokies ahead 75-70.
But this is a series that almost always goes down the wire – the past seven games have been decided by five points or less – and this one was no different.
Delaney missed a close-in shot in the final minute that Booker converted into a breakaway layup to bring the Tigers within 78-77.
Vassallo added Virginia Tech’s final points moments later with two free throws, setting up Clemson’s last chance.
Virginia Tech looked ready to pull away in the middle of the second half. Hank Thorns hit a go-ahead 3-pointer and a driving basket, then Delaney converted a three-point play after falling hard to the court in a collision with Booker. Delaney followed with two more free throws to put the Hokies up 68-61 with 9:21 left.
That’s when Oglesby, fighting a cold, stepped up with a foul shot and two long 3s to tie the game.
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