Clarke late putback pushes Virginia Tech to upset of Duke
BLACKSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Chris Clarke's putback with 4.1 seconds left proved to be the game-winner, pushing Virginia Tech to an upset of fifth-ranked Duke, 64-63, at Cassell Coliseum on Monday night.
The Blue Devils held the lead for much of the game, seeming to go on bursts whenever the Hokies would pull to within a single possession. Duke would hold a nine point lead with 5:50 remaining, but that's when Virginia Tech started to chip away. Nickeil Alexander-Walker's three-pointer with 3:33 to play trimmed the Duke lead to four.
Free throws would stretch the Blue Devil lead to five with 2:08 remaining, but that's when Clarke took over. His dunk with 1:24 left on the clock pulled the Hokies to within three. Then he came away with a steal and drove the length of the floor for a lay-up that made it a one point game. His putback with 4.1 seconds remaining came off an Alexander-Walker missed jumper, and Grayson Allen missed a three-point attempt as the clock hit zero.
Duke did not make a field goal in the final 7:02.
Virginia Tech shot 52 percent in the second half and only held the lead for 1:00 of game time. Alexander-Walker paced the Hokies with 17 points.
The win gives Virginia Tech its fourth victory over an opponent ranked nationally in the top 15. The Hokies (21-9, 10-7) will close out their regular season on Saturday at Miami.
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