Dowdell, Virginia Tech post third straight winJan 29, 2007 - 2:32 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Zabian Dowdell extended a slump for Georgia Tech that ruined its unblemished run at home.
Dowdell scored 23 points as Virginia Tech captured its third straight win with a 73-65 victory over Georgia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
A.D. Vassallo had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Hokies (16-5, 6-1 ACC), who remained perfect against the Yellow Jackets in league play at 3-0 and improved to 7-2 in the all-time series.
Losing for the first time in 12 home games this season, Georgia Tech (13-7, 2-5) shot poorly in dropping its third straight game. The Yellow Jackets' top two scorers - freshmen Thaddeus Young and Javaris Crittenton - combined to go just 7-of-29 (24 percent) from the field.
"It was a great team win," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. "To win a game on the road against a great team like Georgia Tech, who hadn't lost at home, gives us something to build on."
Combined with Boston College's loss at Duke on Sunday, the Hokies took over the top spot in the league standings, sitting just percentages points ahead of 5-1 North Carolina.
"We're not worried about first place," Virginia Tech center Coleman Collins said. "We don't take anything for granted. First place has a nice ring to it, but once you're there, you've got to stay there."
With Georgia Tech's top two performers off the mark, Virginia Tech raced out to a 16-7 lead before settling for a 38-30 advantage at the half. Dowdell and Vassallo combined for 21 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Although they finished 36.6 percent (26-of-71) from the field, the Yellow Jackets closed within 62-58 on a jumper by Zach Peacock with 1:52 remaining. However, Dowdell was fouled on each of the Hokies' next two possessions and made all four free throws.
"When I'm out there, I'm just trying to make plays," Dowdell said. "My guys did a good job of finishing today. They knocked down shots. When they got to open spots, I was able to find them."
Young, who finished with six points on 2-of-10 shooting, hit a 3-pointer to cut it to 67-61 with 37 seconds left, but Vassallo came back with two free throws as Virginia Tech converted 11-of-12 from the stripe in the final two minutes.
"Instead of hanging around in the first half or trying to get it to four points at the 12-minute mark, we're now the team that has to figure out how to play with the lead," Collins said. "In games we lost earlier this year, or even in games we've won, we've had big leads and let them evaporate. We've been playing from behind our whole careers.
"Today was a step forward for us. We kept that distance and that's something that good teams do. We have to learn that as a team. We had the heart to come back from deficits, but now it's like, how are we going to stay there when we have the lead?"
Dowdell also had eight assists and Coleman collected 13 points and seven boards for the Hokies, who finished with 19 assists and 25 baskets and held a 35-33 rebounding advantage.
Anthony Morrow had 18 points and Mouhammad Faye 17 for Georgia Tech, which finished 6-of-13 (46 percent) on free throws compared to 19-of-25 (76 percent) by Virginia Tech.
Crittenton ended with 12 points despite 5-of-19 shooting for the Yellow Jackets, who dropped to 2-4 against ranked teams this season.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
VIRGINIA TECH (23) 38 35 73
GEORGIA TECH 30 35 65 FINAL
Jan 28 5:37 PM
- NCAA BB
VIRGINIA TECH (23) VS GEORGIA TECH
HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
VIRGINIA TECH - ZABIAN DOWDELL 11
GEORGIA TECH - MOUHAMMAD FAYE 13
Jan 28 4:24 PM
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