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Delaney powers Virginia Tech to upset at Clemson

Feb 26, 2009 - 5:59 AM CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- Virginia Tech began a brutal closing stretch with a huge road win.

Malcolm Delaney scored 17 of his 26 points in the second half as Virginia Tech got a much-needed victory with an 80-77 triumph at No. 13 Clemson on Wednesday.

A.D. Vassallo added 21 points for the Hokies (17-10, 7-6 ACC), who shot 11-of-19 from the arc to help snap a three-game losing streak.

On the verge of falling out of NCAA Tournament consideration, Virginia Tech shot 7-of-11 from the arc in the second half to win the first of what will be four games against the top four teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hokies take on North Carolina, Duke and Florida State to close the campaign.

Delaney made a key 3-pointer to give Virginia Tech a 75-70 lead with 3:35 to go but Clemson fought back and eventually cut the deficit to 78-77 on Trevor Booker's layup with 20 seconds left.

"In this series, a three-point win is like a blowout," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg told The State. "These games turn into epic games."

Vassallo made a pair of free throws to make it an 80-77 game with 12 ticks on the clock and Demontez Stitt's desperation 3-pointer from the left side of the arc was off the mark as time expired.

"It came down to we had to make a shot and we came up short," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell told the newspaper. "Couldn't make a big one when we needed to."

Terrence Oglesby, who was forced to give the ball up on the final play, scored 22 points and Booker had 21 and 13 rebounds to pace the Tigers (22-5, 8-5).

Booker scored 15 first-half points as Clemson took a 38-35 lead at the break.

The Hokies caught fire from the arc in the early portions of the second half and Vassallo's third 3-pointer of the session gave Virginia Tech a 54-52 lead with 14:30 remaining.

Clemson regained a slim edge but Hank Thorns made a 3-pointer and Delaney had a key three-point play during a 10-2 run that gave Virginia Tech a 68-61 advantage with 9:20 left.

The Tigers answered with the next seven points as Oglesby made back-to-back 3-pointers, tying the score at 68-68 with 7:04 to play.

However, Clemson never took the lead as Virginia Tech went back in front by five before Oglesby's fourth 3-pointer cut the deficit to 77-75 with 3:02 remaining. Vassallo made one free throw before Booker's late layup made it a one-point game.