BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Zabian Dowdell scored 23 points and Deron Washington had 19 as Virginia Tech moved back into the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title chase with a 79-62 victory against Boston College on Wednesday night.
The Hokies (19-8, 9-4) led 36-32 at halftime, scored the first 14 points of the second half and then all but ran the Eagles out of Cassell Coliseum. In the first 13 minutes of the half, the Hokies outscored Boston College 32-6, getting a couple of highlight reel dunks from Washington and a heads-up inbounds play from Dowdell.Coming off home losses last week to No. 18 Duke and No. 5 North Carolina, the Eagles (18-9, 9-5) had had to know it wasn't their night when Dowdell inbounded the ball against the backside of unaware John Oates under the Hokies basket, quickly collected the carom and laid the ball in to the delight of the rowdy crowd.The cagey play with 13:36 left made it 56-34, long after the suspense was gone. The Hokies led by as many as 30 and ended a six-game losing streak against the Eagles.A.D. Vassallo added 18 points for the Hokies, who were coming off a blowout loss of their own -- 81-56 at North Carolina State -- but who are in good shape heading into the final two weeks of the regular season. They have home games against struggling Miami and Clemson and a road game at No. 24 Virginia, a team they beat by 27 on Feb. 10.Jared Dudley and Tyrese Rice led the Eagles with 15 points each, but neither was a factor until the Hokies were already cruising and trying to keep the clock running.Dowdell and Washington each grabbed eight rebounds, and Dowdell had five assists.The Hokies scored 14 straight points in the first half, turning a 16-15 deficit into a 29-16 lead. Dowdell had seven points and Vassallo had five in the run.Just as quickly, though, the Eagles came back. The used a 6-2 mini-run to close to 31-23, then scored the last nine points of the half to trail by only 36-32.It was as close as they got.