Virginia Tech couldn’t keep up with Duke’s talent and interior size, losing to the Blue Devils 75-60 on Thursday. The Hokies are now 12-10 overall and 1-6 in the ACC. Duke is 19-3, and sit atop the league standings with UNC and FSU with a 6-1 record.
Unlike the last two games, the Hokies got off to a good start against Duke, and the game was tied at 21 at the 7:13 mark of the first half. From there, the Blue Devils outscored Tech 17-7 and took a 38-28 lead into the break. The second half wasn’t pretty, as Duke gradually extended their lead.
Erick Green paced Tech with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Green played a good game, but other than Victor Davila’s 16 point, 7 rebound performance, he didn’t have much help. Davila played well against Duke for the second consecutive season, grabbing four offensive rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.
Marquis Rankin started at point guard for the Hokies, and he scored eight points, most of which came late in the game. Dorian Finney-Smith struggled yet again, finishing with no points and two rebounds in 17 minutes. He was 0-of-4 from the field, and though he was assertive and played very hard, his offensive woes continued.
Defensively, the Hokies played hard, but they eventually succumbed to Duke’s size and skill. 6-11 forward Ryan Kelly scored 15 points, and he made two three-pointers. 6-10 forward Mason Plumlee added 10 points, while Miles Plumlee gave the Blue Devils a spark with five offensive rebounds. Freshman guard Austin Rivers had 18 points and five assists, and was 4-of-6 from three-point range.
Duke did not start Seth Curry, going with lineup changes after a disappointing performance against St. John’s over the weekend. The younger son of Tech great Dell Curry finished with 11 points, going 2-of-7 from the field and making all six of his free throws.
This game was simply a question of size, talent and experience. Duke had a major advantage in all three of those categories.
The Hokies return to action on Saturday when they host Clemson. Tip-off is scheduled for 4pm, and the game will be televised by RSN. Check your local listings.