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Virginia Tech beats Duke to snap 7-game skid

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BLACKSBURG — Finally.

The Virginia Tech men's basketball team snapped a seven-game losing streak Monday night, beating Duke 78-75 at Cassell Coliseum.

In a "Big Monday" game that was televised by ESPN, Virginia Tech (12-8, 2-7 ACC) ended the program's longest skid in eight years.

Freshman reserve guard MJ Collins made a jumper to give Tech a 77-75 lead with 13.3 seconds to go.

Duke freshman Tyrese Proctor missed a 3-pointer with six seconds left. Collins grabbed the defensive rebound and was fouled. Collins made one of two free throws to extend the lead to 78-75 with 3.9 seconds left.

Tech guard Hunter Cattoor stole the inbounds pass in the waning seconds. He flung the ball in the air at game's end.

It was Virginia Tech's first win since a Dec. 17 victory over Grambling State.

Duke (14-6, 5-4) lost for the fifth time in its last six visits to Cassell.

Virginia Tech won for the third time in the last four meetings in the series, including its victory in last year's ACC tournament title game at the Barclays Center.

The Blue Devils were first in the "also receiving votes" category of the Associated Press Top 25 poll Monday. This was the first time Tech faced an unranked Duke team since a January 1978 meeting.

Grant Basile had 24 points and eight rebounds for the Hokies.

Virginia Tech point guard Sean Pedulla, who had gone just 2 of 13 from the field in last weekend's loss at Clemson, had 16 points and three 3-pointers Monday.

Cattoor, who had 31 points and seven 3-pointers in his team's win over Duke in the ACC Tournament title game last March, had 15 points and five 3-poiners Monday. He had 12 points and four 3-pointers in the first half.

Duke freshman Ryan Filipowski, a 7-foot center, had a career-high 29 points. He also had 10 rebounds.

Tech shot 57.1% from the field to Duke's 48.3%.

Tech was 10 of 19 from 3-point range. Duke was 9 of 23.

Duke, which leads the ACC in rebounding margin, outrebounded Tech 30-27.

Down 45-38 at halftime, Duke opened the second half on a 13-6 run to tie the game at 51 with 16:08 to go. Duke had four 3-pointers in the run after having made only three 3-pointers in the first half. Mark Mitchell capped the run with  a 3-pointer to tie the game at 51 with 16:08 to go.

Justyn Mutts made a layup to give Tech a 53-51 lead with 15:50 left.

But Duke then went on a 7-0 run. After Proctor scored, Filipowski drained a 3-pointer. Proctor scored to extend the lead to 58-53 with 13:42 to go.

Basile scored to cut the lead to 58-55. Filipowski made one of two free throws to extend the lead.

But Tech went on an 8-0 run. After Collins buried a 3-pointer, Basile made a basket and free throw. Pedulla made two free throws for a 63-59 lead with 10:18 to go.

Dereck Lively II dunked and Filipowski made a layup to tie the game at 63.

Basile scored to give Tech a 65-63 lead with 8:38 left. Jeremy Roach scored to tie the game at 65.

Basile scored to give the Hokies a 67-65 lead with 7:30 to go. Ryan Young scored to tie the game.

Cattoor buried a 3-pointer to give Tech a 70-67 lead with 6:45 left. Basile made a jumper with the shot clock winding down to extend the lead to 72-67.

Filipowski made two free throws to cut the lead to 72-69 with 3:47 left. But Basile made two free throws to extend the lead to 74-69 with 3:06 to go.

Young scored to cut the lead to 74-71. Filipowski made one of two free throws to cut the lead to 74-72 with 1:30 left.

Mutts made one of two free throws to extend the lead to 75-72 with 1:04 to go.

Proctor sank a 3-pointer to tie the game at 75 with 38.9 seconds left.

Four of Duke's starters were at least 6-foot-7, including Filipowski and the 6-10 Young.

Tech coach Mike Young countered with a bigger starting lineup than usual. Lynn Kidd started at center, with Mutts and Basile at the forward slots. Guard Darius Maddox, who was 0 of 6 from the field in last weekend's loss at Clemson, was not in the starting lineup for the first time this season.

Down 13-9, Virginia Tech went on a 20-6 run to grab a 29-19 lead with 10:52 to go in the first half. Tech was 5 of 7 from 3-point range at that point.

The lead grew to 43-30 with 2:03 left in the half.

Virginia Tech shot a sizzling 68% from the field in the first half to Duke's 50%. The Hokies were 7 of 10 from 3-point range in the first half.

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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