NCAA

LeDay's 20 and 10 lead Virginia Tech past Pitt, 65-61

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LeDay's 20 and 10 lead Virginia Tech past Pitt, 65-61

By HANK KURZ Jr.

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- The last of Zach LeDay's 20 points on Tuesday night was not decisive, but may still have been the biggest of them all.

LeDay stopped a meltdown from the free throw line in the last 10 minutes, making the second of two attempts with 19.4 seconds remaining, and Virginia Tech held on to beat Pittsburgh 65-61, the Hokies' fourth consecutive victory.

"It was surreal to watch, but we just realized we needed to get it back on defense," LeDay said of watching the Hokies miss 10 of 15 free throws in the last 10 minutes and seeing the Panthers shrink a 12-point deficit to 64-61 with just over a minute remaining.

"We just kind of had a dull moment," LeDay said. "We needed to keep our foot on the gas pretty much."

LeDay also grabbed 10 rebounds while Seth Allen and Justin Robinson scored 10 points each for the Hokies (17-13, 9-8 Atlantic Coast Conference). They used a 16-4 second-half run to pull away and then almost let it slip in the tense final minute at Cassell Coliseum.

Their four-game winning streak in the ACC is their first since 2010, and it pulled them into a tie with the Panthers, Syracuse and Clemson for seventh place with one regular season game remaining for each. The Hokies finish by hosting No. 7 Miami on Saturday.

"Hopefully we can keep that momentum going against Miami," guard Devin Wilson said. "We're just taking it a game at a time."

Michael Young scored 16 to lead the Panthers (20-9, 9-8) and James Robinson had 11.

Pittsburgh trailed by as many as 13 after halftime and was behind 64-52 before scoring the next nine points to get within 64-61 on Young's dunk with 1:08 remaining. The Hokies, who had three turnovers during the Pitt run, missed a 3-pointer, giving Pitt a chance to tie, but Robinson's shot was off the mark and LeDay hit a free throw with 19.4 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said foul trouble the Hokies caused by continually driving to the basket and drawing contact was "huge," but the team needed to play better, too. Pitt shot just 38.9 percent (21-54) and, despite a size advantage, was outscored in the paint 26-22.

"We've got to get better play out of our 11," Dixon said "I don't think we got the play that we wanted across the board."

LeDay's basket with 7:37 left in the first half sparked a 12-0 run for the Hokies that gave them a 22-19 lead. The Panthers then scored seven straight, ending a more than 6-minute drought without a field goal, before the Hokies scored the final five points of the half to lead 27-26 at the break.

Earlier, Virginia Tech went scoreless for more than five minutes as the Panthers opened a 19-10 lead.

TIP-INS

Pitt: The Panthers arrived having won all 19 of their games in which they scored 70 points this season. ... They were 2 for 13 from 3-point range in the first half and finished 3 for 21.

Virginia Tech: With nine ACC victories already this season, the Hokies have more than doubled their total of the past two seasons combined. Virginia Tech finished 2-16 in league play in each of the last two seasons.

UP NEXT

Pitt closes the regular season at Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon.

Virginia Tech is at home against Miami on Saturday afternoon.

Virginia stays at No. 1, Middle Tennessee enters Top 25 for first time ever

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia stays at No. 1, Middle Tennessee enters Top 25 for first time ever

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia strengthened its hold on No. 1 in the AP Top 25 while Duke jumped back into the top five after a pair of impressive wins.

The Cavaliers earned 42 of 65 first-place votes in the poll released Monday. That's 12 more than last week when they reached No. 1 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era.

The top four remained unchanged, with No. 2 Michigan State earning 19 first-place votes after rallying from 27 down to beat Northwestern. Third-ranked Villanova got the other four first-place votes after winning at No. 4 Xavier.

Fifth-ranked Duke jumped seven spots after beating Virginia Tech and Clemson despite playing without injured top freshman Marvin Bagley III.

Middle Tennessee checked in at 24th, marking its first AP Top 25 appearance in program history.

Complete AP Top 25 Poll for Week 16:

1. Virginia (42)
2. Michigan State (19)
3. Villanova (4)
4. Xavier
5. Duke
6. Texas Tech
7. Gonzaga
8. Kansas
9. Purdue
10. North Carolina
11. Cincinnati
12. Auburn
13. Wichita State
14. Arizona
15. Clemson
16. Ohio State
17. Michigan
18. Rhode Island
19. Tennessee
20. Nevada
21. West Virginia
22. Saint Mary's (CA)
23. Houston
24. Middle Tennessee
25. Florida State

NBC Sports Washington contributed to this report.

Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

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Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marcus Derrickson tied a career-high with 27 points, on 11-of-13 shooting, for his eighth 20-plus point game this season and Georgetown beat Butler 87-83 on Tuesday night.

After Georgetown missed two free throws, Kamar Baldwin made a scoop shot in the lane and Sean McDermott stole the inbounds pass, leading to another Baldwin basket to pull Butler to 84-81 with 1:29 to go.

Butler had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Baldwin's long 3-pointer was short and Jahvon Blair sealed it at the line at 4.5.

Jessie Govan had his 12th double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Georgetown (15-10, 5-9 Big East). Trey Dickerson, a senior averaging 3.5 points per game, set a career-high in the first half with 12 points and finished with 18.

Kelan Martin had 22 points and eight rebounds to reach 20 points for the 17th time this season for Butler (17-10, 7-7). Tyler Wideman added 19 points and Baldwin had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

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