Virginia Tech played solid defense in Sunday night’s game in Cameron Indoor Stadium, but they managed just 13 second half points in a 69-44 loss to #5 Duke. The Hokies must now use the rest of the week to regroup before returning home to face UVA on Saturday.
Tech had just one player score in double figures on Sunday. Malcolm Delaney scored 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He also had four rebounds and three steals in 33 minutes of action.
Other than Delaney, the Hokies didn’t get much offense. They missed 11 of their first 12 field goal attempts as Duke jumped out to an early 14-2 lead. Tech didn’t hit a field goal until a Delaney layup with 13:33 remaining in the first half. For the game, the Hokies were just 18-of-49 (36.7%) from the field, and just 1-of-9 (11.1%) from three-point range.
Duke wasn’t much better from the field, shooting 22-of-54 (40.7%). However, the Blue Devils did manage to hit six three-pointers, and they went 19-of-20 (95%) from the free throw line as a team. The Hokies were 7-of-12 (58.3%) from the charity stripe, with all seven free throws coming from Jeff Allen.
With A.D. Vassallo scoring just seven points and Jeff Allen adding only nine, Tech didn’t have the offense to keep up with Duke. Cheick Diakite had a good game with eight points, five rebounds and three blocks in 20 minutes, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Tech got off to a terrible start. Duke jumped out to an early 11-0 lead by the 16:31 mark in the first half. However, they could never quite pull away from the Hokies in the first 20 minutes. The Blue Devils led by as many as 13 points when Gerald Henderson threw down a dunk to make the score 32-19 with 5:41 remaining, but Tech hung in there and made it a game before halftime.
Malcolm Delaney put the team on his back during the final minutes of the first half. He scored all six of Tech’s points over the final 2:24, and the Hokies trailed just 39-31 heading into halftime. It was a solid result, considering how poorly they played early in the game.
The Hokies drew even closer early in the second half. Delaney made the score 39-33 with a layup at the 18:46 mark, and then Cheick Diakite scored to make it a 39-35 game with 17:33 remaining. Despite missing 11 of their first 12 shots, the Hokies were right in the game with the #5 team in the nation.
That’s when the wheels began to fall off. Duke took a quick timeout and went on an 11-2 run that made the score 50-37 with 12:47 left in the game. Things got worse later in the game, as the Hokies managed just nine points in the rest of the half following Diakite’s layup at the 17:33 mark. That’s not going to get it done in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and the Blue Devils went on to pull away for the easy win.
The Hokies return to action on Saturday when they host UVA. Tipoff is scheduled for 4pm, and the game will be televised on regional sports networks. Check your local listings.