The first trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium of the Buzz Williams era did not go well. The Hokies were ambushed from the start and lost to #10 Duke 82-58. Tech dropped to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, while the Blue Devils improved to 14-2 overall and 3-0 in conference play.
The game was never close, as Duke made four three-pointers in the opening 2:05 to take a 12-2 lead. Tech’s defense was poor, and they couldn’t stop the Blue Devils from the outside, nor could they defend drives to the basket.
Duke eventually cooled off and made only five of their final 20 three-point attempts (9-of-24 for the game), but the damage was done. The Hokies weren’t good enough on either end of the floor to make a run. The Blue Devils shot 47.4% from the field and 19-of-27 (70.4%) from the free throw line. They scored 50 points in the first half.
Meanwhile, Tech struggled offensively and trailed 50-23 at halftime. At that point the game was already decided, though the Hokies did outscore Duke 35-32 in the second half. Virginia Tech was just 21-of-56 (37.5%) from the field, and only 1-of-12 (8.3%) from three-point range. They did not make a three-point basket until Justin Robinson rattled one home with 4:11 left in the game.
Duke outrebounded Tech 42-33, which isn’t surprising considering the number of shots the Hokies missed. After committing a total of 12 turnovers in wins over NC State and UVA, Tech had 15 against Duke. That’s obviously too many to win in Cameron Indoor Stadium withouth a stellar defensive effort.
Zach LeDay paced the Hokies in points (18) and rebounds (9). Kerry Blackshear added 12 points and five rebounds. No other Tech player scored in double figures.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Wednesday night when they host Wake Forest. Tipoff is scheduled for 9pm, and the game will be televised by RSN. Check your local listings.