Virginia Tech’s Saturday night trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium was one to forget, as the Hokies fell behind by 26 points at halftime en route to an 88-64 loss to No. 6 Duke. Tech dropped to 15-12 overall and 6-10 in the ACC, while the Blue Devils improved to 23-4 and 13-3.
Duke jumped out to an 11-2 lead on the strength of a trio of three-pointers and never looked back. A fastbreak layup by Matthew Hurt gave the Blue Devils their first double-digit lead at the 13:30 mark, 22-11. The Hokies never got it to within single digits again, and Duke steadily increased its lead throughout the first half. By the 11:06 mark of the first half, they had more than doubled up the Hokies at 29-14. They went on to lead by 26 points, which was the margin at halftime.
Tech played Duke evenly in the second half, but at that point all the damage was done and the Blue Devils coasted to the easy win.
“They blitzed us early and often,” head coach Mike Young said following the game. “They were better, obviously. They were that good, and I didn’t think we were awful in spurts, they were just flat out better than my team on this particular evening.”
There were individual good performances for the Hokies. Redshirt freshman guard Tyrece Radford continued his good play with 16 points and nine rebounds. He also had four assists. However, he was the only starter in double figures. Isaiah Wilkins had arguably his best game of the season. He played 24 minutes and scored 11 points while also finishing with six rebounds and a team-high six assists. Freshman Hunter Cattoor added 10 points off the bench.
Starting center PJ Horne did not score and only played 18 minutes. Freshman center John Ojiako had six points, four rebounds and a block in 20 minutes off the bench. The shooting woes of redshirt freshman Landers Nolley continued. He scored just three points in the game, and was 1-of-8 from the field. He played just 16 minutes, and was on the bench for the majority of the second half.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Wednesday night when the Hokies host in-state rival UVA in Cassell Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.
Selected Game Notes From Virginia Tech
- The Blue Devils hit 11 3-pointers, marking just the sixth time out of 27 games that Tech has given up double-digit triples.
- Duke’s 51 first-half points were a season high allowed by Tech, topping the previous mark of 49 to Dayton on Nov. 26 at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
- Radford led Tech in scoring for the fifth time this season with 16 points and reached double figures for the 12th time this year. Radford was also one rebound shy of a double-double with nine.
- Wilkins scored 11 points, which was the first time Wilkins got to double figures since the VMI game on Dec. 21. Wilkins also tied a season-high six rebounds.
- Cattoor scored 10 points and notched his eighth double-digit performance this season.
- Ojiako scored six points for the second straight game. Ojiako has 19 rebounds over his last three games, averaging 6.0 a contest during that three-game stretch.