Kerry Blackshear's putback lift Virginia Tech past No

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The Hokies failed to do that in losing 78-52 to Virginia at Cassell Coliseum on January 3, but exacted their revenge by closing off the middle to the Cavaliers and forcing them to try to win from outside.

The will might have been there but not the execution for second-ranked UVa, which was unable to take advantage of some late momentum in a 61-60 overtime loss to a relentless Virginia Tech squad. Blackshear rebounded a missed layup by Justin Robinson and banked it in as he was being fouled.

"We nearly stole that game but that's what it would have been ... stealing", said UVa coach Tony Bennett, whose Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 ACC) had won 15 games in a row since a December 5 loss at West Virginia.

In the first meeting of the 2017-18 season between Virginia and Virginia Tech, the Hokies played on of their worst games of the year. Robinson led Tech in scoring with 20 points, and he came into the game as a 77.3% free throw shooter.

Blackshear Jr. couldn't convert the ensuing free throw but Virginia's Ty Jerome missed a 3-pointer with one second left as Virginia Tech prevailed.

UVA was just 21-of-61 (34.4%) from the field and 11-of-38 (28.9%) from three-point range. Earlier this week, the now number one ranked Villanova Wildcats lost to the St.John's Red Storm in a Big East conference game.

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"They're a good team", Virginia senior Devon Hall said. After Hall made the front end of a one-and-one, he missed the second. Fortunately Jerome put up a deep, rushed three-pointer that was close to the target, and the Hokies celebrated a huge 61-60 road victory that greatly enhances their NCAA Tournament resume. The Hokies then fouled Hall, who missed the front end of a one-and-one. On the ensuing possession, Jerome hit a jumper from the right elbow with 9 seconds left, forcing overtime. The Hokies led 33-26 at halftime, and held the lead for about 10 minutes more than UVA throughout the course of the game. The game stayed close the rest of the way, but the Hokies opened a 49-45 lead on Devin Wilson's backdoor bucket off a pass from Kerry Blackshear Jr. with 1:17 left.

Robinson led the Hokies with 11 first-half points.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are a very unsafe team when they are making shots, and that's pretty often.

Virginia: The Cavaliers faced a halftime deficit in their last game, but that was on the road at Florida State. They beat the Hokies 78-52 in Cassell Coliseum earlier this season, College Gameday was in town, and the Hoos were all set to be ranked No. 1 in the country this coming week with a victory over their in-state rivals.

The Cavaliers will be back in action Tuesday against the Miami Hurricanes, while the Hokies have a showdown against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium looming Wednesday evening.

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