Hokies, Dukes Play One to Remember

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How’s this for foreshadowing: earlier this week, in researching some bit of
trivia that I now no longer recall, I got sidetracked and wound up reading the
Hokie Huddler’s account of Virginia Tech’s epic 141-133 double overtime win over
Southern Mississippi on February 6th, 1988. Little did I know that a few days
after I relived that classic, the Hokies would stage another double overtime
thriller, downing Duquesne 116-108 in the opening round of the 2009 NIT.

Perhaps you remember that 1988 epic. Bimbo Coles dropped a career-high 51
points on the Golden Eagles that day, and Wally Lancaster chipped in 39
additional points to help the Hokies win a game I considered to be the best game
I had ever witnessed in person. It’s still one of the best, 21 years later.

Wednesday night’s barn-burner against the Dukes — boy, I can already tell
I’m going to run out of synonyms for “classic” quickly — had a lot of
the same elements as that 1988 game. It went two OTs, of course, and it featured
the performance of a lifetime from a great player, though in this matchup, it
was the Hokies’ opponent, Aaron Jackson, who notched a career high with 46
points.

For
their part, three Virginia Tech players posted career highs, though no Hokie
matched Jackson for sheer electricity and wow-factor. Jackson’s 46 points
included 15-of-25 from the field and 8-of-13 from three-point range. A.D.
Vassallo scored 33, topping his 30 against Wisconsin earlier this season, and
J.T. Thompson added 21 and Dorenzo Hudson 15, both new career highs.

Don’t think for a minute that the Hokies didn’t defend Jackson well. One of
the ironies of the comments following the 141-133 game is that both coaches,
Tech’s Frankie Allen and Southern Mississippi’s M.K. Turk, insisted that their
teams had played good defense — they were just the victims of incredible
offensive performances on both sides of the ball.

Likewise, Hudson did all he could to stop Jackson, and for a long time, it
worked. With 16 minutes left to

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