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Va. Tech gets production out of Thompson

Just days before Virginia Tech's win over Virginia, Hokies Coach Seth Greenberg sat in his office and said he needed forward J.T. Thompson to have a breakout game. Perhaps Thompson overheard the conversation.

On Thursday night, Thompson equaled a season high with 17 points in the Hokies' thrilling 76-71 overtime win in Charlottesville. In what might be his break-out performance, Thompson provided the kind of productivity that Greenberg had wanted.

"J.T. Thompson was so tough and -- I guess determined," Greenberg told reporters afterward. "It was so good to see him play that way; it’s a piece we have been missing."

Thompson, a junior, has not been able to provide a spark for Virginia Tech. Although Thompson is healthy after undergoing off-season ankle surgery, he has not been scoring or utilizing his physicality to make a difference on the backboards.

But Thompson stepped up on Thursday when Virginia Tech's best forward, Jeff Allen, was ejected with 13 minutes 41 seconds left in regulation after his elbow met the face of Virginia guard Jeff Jones. He scored 15 points after Allen's ejection, including 7 in overtime.

"“I’m a guy that tries to bring the energy; that’s what I did out there," Thompson said. "I was trying to fire everyone up, diving on the floor and everything. When I saw Jeff wasn’t coming back, I just knew I had to step it up.”

By Mark Viera  |  January 29, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
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