In a game filled with record lows, 16th-ranked Virginia Tech resurrected itself from a deep freeze to defeat James Madison, 47-37, tonight in the first round of the Times-Dispatch Invitational.
The Hokies will play in the final Saturday against Virginia Commonwealth (7-1), a 68-52 winner over Richmond.
The Hokies overcame an offensive lapse with man-to-man pressure and control of the boards. Virginia Tech guard Dell Curry was the game's leading scorer with 13 points, but he was six for 17 from the field. Forward Perry Young made only one of 10 shots.
The Hokies (8-1) shot 29 percent from the field, only the second time they have been under 50 percent.
"If you had told me we would be shooting those numbers, I would have said 'consolation game,' " Virginia Tech Coach Charles Moir said. "Those are definitely consolation numbers."
In the second half, Virginia Tech outrebounded James Madison, 32-15, not scoring a field goal from farther than two feet away and holding the Dukes to three baskets in the first 17 minutes.
That first field goal was John Newman's 20-foot jumper, which earned James Madison a 24-23 lead 14 seconds into the second half. It followed what Moir called "an ugly first half. We played tenacious defensively but we hurt ourselves because we rushed our shots."