The Blue Devils fall to 13-2 overall and 0-1 in ACC action on the year. Virginia Tech moves to 11-4 overall and 2-0 in the league.
Virginia Tech scored the first eight points of the game, but Duke battled back to knot the game at 14-14 when Lance Thomas scored a layup just under eight minutes into the contest. A conventional three-point play by Jon Scheyer at the 4:52 mark made the score 25-25, but the Hokies used a 13-8 spurt to close the half to lead 38-33 at intermission. The Blue Devils, who committed 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, scored their last nine points of the opening stanza from the foul line.
The Hokies led by as many as nine points early in the second half before Duke took its first lead of the game at 51-49 when Greg Paulus fed Josh McRoberts for a bucket with 11:33 remaining. The layup capped a 7-0 run for the Blue Devils that spanned 2:46. The lead then changed hands five times before Deron Washington's basket increased Tech's lead to three at 62-59 at the 3:00 mark.
Gerald Henderson trimmed the margin to one with a basket with 35 seconds left, and two foul shots by Zabian Dowdell pushed the lead back to three six seconds later. Nelson buried a three-pointer with 19 seconds left to tie the game at 64-64. Dowdell's jumper as time expired fell short, sending the teams to overtime.
In the extra session, McRoberts gave Duke a 66-64 advantage on the opening possession, but the Hokies countered with two free throws by Washington at the 4:30 mark. Following three minutes without a point by either squad, McRoberts hit one free throw with 1:28 left for a 67-66 lead. Jamon Gordon pushed Virginia Tech ahead with a basket in the lane with 30 seconds left and, following a Duke miss, the Hokies got a free throw from A.D. Vassallo to lead by two. Greg Paulus' last-second effort from three-point range was blocked, preserving the win for Virginia Tech.
Nelson was eight-of-13 from the floor including a four-for-six effort from behind the three-point stripe. McRoberts posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with team-highs of four assists and three blocked shots. Scheyer finished with 12 points while Henderson came off the bench for 10.
For the Hokies, Dowdell scored a team-best 20 points as Gordon added 17.
Duke takes to the road for a two-game swing, facing Georgia Tech on Wednesday (7 p.m.; ESPN) and Miami on Sunday (5:30 p.m.; FSN). The Blue Devils return to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday, January 18 against Wake Forest (7 p.m.; ESPN).