for this game

Hokies knock off top-ranked Duke

Feb 27, 2011 - 5:18 AM Blacksburg, VA (Sports Network) - Jeff Allen finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds, as Virginia Tech held off top-ranked Duke, 64-60, at Cassell Coliseum.

Malcolm Delaney ended with 11 points, including a crucial three-pointer with about two minutes left that gave the Hokies (19-8, 9-5 ACC) a two-possession lead for the stretch run.

Virginia Tech won for the fourth time in its last five games, and Saturday's victory figures to go a long way toward securing an at-large berth for the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies also knocked off the No. 1 team for the fourth time in school history.

Duke (26-3, 12-2), which ascended back to the top of the national rankings this week, suffered its second loss as the No. 1 team this season. The Blue Devils were the top-ranked school before losing at Florida State on January 12.

Kyle Singler scored 22 points with 12 rebounds to lead Duke, which had won its last seven games, while Nolan Smith had 18 points.

The Blue Devils held a 55-50 lead after Smith sank a jumper with a little more than six minutes to play, but they had big problems scoring against the Virginia Tech defense over the next few minutes.

Following the Smith bucket, Duke didn't score for nearly four minutes, allowing the Hokies to move in front.

Victor Davila started Virginia Tech's nine-point run with a dunk. Terrell Bell followed with a three-pointer and two free throws, and Allen closed it with a layup with 2:39 remaining.

Despite the run, Duke's deficit was only four points, and Singler pulled the Blue Devils back in the game with a quick layup on their next possession.

However, Delaney buried a three to make it a 62-57 contest. With the deficit and only 2:03 remaining, it became imperative that the Blue Devils not waste possessions and chances.

But Duke didn't score on its next touch -- Andre Dawkins missed a three, and Singler couldn't get several tip-in chances to fall. And while Mason Plumlee converted a steal into a fastbreak dunk on Virginia Tech's next possession, it was a rare moment of success for Duke in the final minutes.

After Singler's errant three-point try with about half a minute left, Virginia Tech's Erick Green missed two free throws, and Smith got to the line for a 1- and-1.

However, Smith missed his first attempt, and Plumlee sank only 1-of-2 after grabbing the offensive rebound. That left Duke's deficit at 62-60 with 23.2 seconds to go.

The Blue Devils still had a chance to tie after Allen made 1-of-2 free throws, continuing Virginia Tech's poor foul shooting performance. The Hokies were 8- for-19 from the line overall.

But the Hokie defense swarmed and harassed Smith, leading to a timeout with 12.7 seconds left. After resuming play, Seth Curry lost the ball in the face of the hosts' defensive pressure.

Curry -- whose father, Dell, attended Virginia Tech and had his number retired by the school -- was forced to foul out. Allen made one free throw to secure the outcome and the Hokies' first home victory against Duke since February 17, 2005.

Virginia Tech shot 50 percent in the first half on the way to a 33-31 halftime lead. Green scored 10 of his 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.

But Duke used a seven-point burst to build a multiple-possession lead in the second half. Singler closed it with a three-pointer to push the Blue Devils' lead to 51-45 with 11:10 to play.

Game Notes

Davila had 11 points and 10 boards for Virginia Tech. Bell scored 12 points... Curry, who entered the game averaging 9.0 points, finished with zero...Virginia Tech beat Duke for the first time since January 6, 2007, when the Hokies claimed a 69-67 overtime win...Despite the loss, Duke still leads the all-time series by a 36-8 margin...Duke shot just 39.7 percent from the field in the game, marking the second time this season they shot under 40 percent. The Blue Devils shot 31.1 percent in the loss at FSU.