HAMPTON, VA., DEC. 9 -- Virginia Tech surprised 14th-ranked Georgetown, 87-82, in a college basketball game played tonight before a packed house of 7,121 at Hampton Coliseum.
Wally Lancaster, a onetime All-Met guard at Washington, D.C.'s Coolidge High School, led the Hokies with 30 points. Sophomore guard Vernell (Bimbo) Coles added 25 points, including Tech's first nine of the second half.
A layin by Georgetown's Perry McDonald tied the score at 79 with 2:50 left. But Lancaster scored on a layin from Coles to put Tech up by two. Mark Tillmon missed a three-pointer for Georgetown, and Coles hit two free throws with 31 seconds to play to give Tech a four-point edge.
Dwayne Bryant hit a three-pointer to cut the margin to one with 14 seconds to play, but Lancaster and Coles each hit two free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Virginia Tech came into the game with a somewhat surprising 3-1 record. With new coach Frankie Allen on the job for little more than two months, the Hokies have blown out Southern California at home and won by 17 points at James Madison.
The victories have been a pleasant distraction from off-court troubles -- an NCAA investigation that led to the resignation of the university president and a succession of athletic directors.
But Lewis told his players to try to put last season behind them. "Once we started emphasizing the positive aspects of it and stopped thinking about all the negatives," he said before the game, "the basketball end started to fall into place a little bit."
The teams played at a furious pace in the opening half, breaking each other's traps for numerous transition baskets. Led by sophomore guard Coles, the Hokies ran with Georgetown throughout the half, usually an unwise practice.
After Lancaster, from Lanham, Md., hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 14, Georgetown went on a 10-3 run to take its biggest lead of the half.
McDonald scored on a layin after Georgetown broke Tech's zone trap to put the Hoyas up by four, 18-14. Charles Jones then went the length of the court and hit a pullup jumper. Freshman Anthony Tucker got loose for a transition slam and, when Tillmon hit an underhanded breakaway layup, Georgetown was up, 24-17.
But the Hokies came back on the shooting of Lancaster. Coming into the game, Tech already had shot an incredible 68 three-pointers in its first four games. Now, Lancaster loaded up. He hit a jumper from 16 feet to close the margin to 24-19, then scored on a transition layin to cut Tech's deficit to three.
After a Tillmon three-pointer, Coles took charge for the Hokies. He hit two free throws and, after an a turnaround jumper in the low post from center Eric Sanders, Coles' hanging shot on the right base line tied the game at 27.
When Tech's backup guards, Quinton Nottingham and George Caesar, entered the game for Coles and Lancaster, it looked like the Hoyas might get the upper hand. But Nottingham came into the game hitting 10 of 17 from three-point range. And promptly knocked one in to give Tech a 30-29 lead.
Seconds later, forward Tim Anderson hit one from even farther out on the left side to put the Hokies up by four. But Dwayne Bryant hit two free throws (Georgetown was eight of nine from the foul line in the first half) and McDonald scored in the low post to tie it again.
The lead then switched hands until Anthony Moses scored on a rebound to tie at 38. Lancaster hit another bomb from deep in the left corner to give him 17 first-half points and give Tech a 41-38 lead at the 45-second mark of the half. Sam Jefferson hit a turnaround in the paint to close the margin to one, but Sanders scored inside to give the Hokies a 43-40 halftime advantage.
Coles, who had led the Hokies with a 19.5 scoring average coming into this game, took over for Tech to begin the second half. He scored the first nine Tech points. The last one, a free throw that completed a three-point play, put Tech up, 52-49.
The Hokies held on to the slim lead, and the Hoyas did not help themselves by committing their seventh foul with 13:11 left in the game. After Charles Smith hit an open jumper to close the lead to one, 58-57, Lancaster hit a three-pointer that pushed the margin back up to four.
Center Eric Sanders then hit a base line turnaround and, when Greg Brink hit two free throws with 10:56 left, Tech led by eight.
Ronnie Highsmith scored off an offensive rebound to cut the lead to six. But Hoyas Coach John Thompson was hit with two technicals fouls after Tillmon was called for an offensive foul on a driving layup attempt. Lancaster hit two of the four free throws to put the Hokies up, 67-59.
But the Hoyas battled back, cutting the lead to a basket three times. Tech moved the lead back to six on a Lancaster layin, but McDonald scored four of the Hoyas' next six points, sandwiched around a three-on-one layin by Charles Smith, to tie the game at 79 with 2:50 left.
Duke 105, Davidson 71:
Alaa Abdelnaby hit 13 of 14 free throws in scoring 19 points to lead 10th-ranked Duke to the win in Charlotte, N.C. Kevin Strickland and John Smith added 18 points each for the Blue Devils (4-0).
Duke has won 41 of its last 45 nonconference games. Davidson (2-2) has lost 13 straight to Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.
Duke's smothering defense set the tone as the Wildcats hit only one basket on their first 12 possessions. Davidson shot 28 percent and had 17 turnovers as Duke took a 54-24 halftime lead. Davidson improved some in the second half to finish with 42 percent shooting, but totaled 30 turnovers.
Davidson was led by Maurice Gray's 17 points, and Jeff Himes had 15.