EditorsNote: minor edits throughout
Ty Outlaw made a late 3-pointer to break a tie as No. 20 Virginia Tech upset No. 3 Duke 77-72 on Tuesday night in Blacksburg, Va.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 23 points, Ahmed Hill posted 17 points and Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 13 points for Virginia Tech, which won for the fourth time in five games.
The loss knocked Duke (24-4, 12-3 ACC) into third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. North Carolina (23-5, 13-2) is on top after beating Syracuse on Tuesday. Virginia (24-2, 12-2) is in second ahead of a Wednesday game against Georgia Tech.
Duke played its second full game without freshman forward Zion Williamson, who sustained a knee sprain in the opening minute of a home loss to North Carolina on Feb. 20. The Blue Devils didn’t have enough answers the way they did Saturday night in a 10-point victory at Syracuse.
Duke freshman forward RJ Barrett scored 21 points, but the ACC scoring leader struggled at times. Cam Reddish added 17 points and Marques Bolden had 14 points for the Blue Devils.
Blackshear made two free throws with 11 seconds left to clinch the outcome.
Duke has lost in three consecutive seasons in its visits to Blacksburg.
Just as Duke seemed to be gaining traction, the Hokies (22-6, 11-5) went on a 9-2 run for a 68-61 lead capped by Blackshear’s dunk with 4:34 to play.
Duke tied the game at 70-70 on Bolden’s dunk with 1:52 to play. Outlaw drained a 3-pointer on the next possession and finished with 11 points.
Earlier, Duke stayed in range until Barrett heated up. Barrett poured in 15 points in barely more than 12 minutes to open the second half, making seven of his first eight shots in the period. That had the teams tied at 59-59.
The Hokies went ahead on Wabissa Bede’s 3-pointer with 7:14 left.
Virginia Tech led 37-34 at halftime, shooting 50 percent from the field.
Barrett was limited to four first-half points on 1-for-7 shooting from the field.
Virginia Tech was in its eighth consecutive game without standout guard Justin Robinson, who has been sidelined due to a foot injury. The Hokies are 5-3 during that span.
—Field Level Media