BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech basketball team got a terrific night from center Victor Davila, but it wasn’t enough to propel Tech past Duke, as the Blue Devils knocked off the Hokies 75-60 in an ACC game played Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum.
With the loss, Tech fell to 12-10 on the season, 1-6 in the ACC. Duke, ranked No. 7 in The Associated Press poll and No. 5 in the coaches’ poll, moved to 19-3, 6-1 in league play.
The game was tied at 21 in the first half, but Duke went on a 13-2 run, scoring on six straight possessions and never looked back. Ryan Kelly scored seven of those points, as the Blue Devils never trailed again.
In the second half, Austin Rivers opened the final 20 minutes with a basket at the 19:34 mark to give Duke a 40-28 lead. The Hokies never got closer than that margin the rest of the game, as the Blue Devils eventually opened up a 22-point lead.
“I’m a little disappointed in how we deal with adversity,” Tech head coach Seth Greenberg said. “Today, we didn’t play through the adversity at all. We did some good things, early on, especially. I thought we got some good shots and got the ball inside and our secondary [break] was better.
“But we had some guys miss some shots, and that affected their ability to do anything on the other end. You can’t have that and beat a good team. We did some good things, but when they bowed their neck, I thought we melted.”
Duke got a big game from Rivers, who scored a game-high 18 points. The freshman hit 7 of 11 from the floor, including four 3-pointers. As a team, Duke canned eight 3-pointers and shot 44.4 percent from beyond the arc.
The Blue Devils’ 75 points were the second-most points allowed by the Hokies this season (82 vs. North Carolina).
Kelly finished with 15 points, while Seth Curry added 11 for the Blue Devils.
Davila, a senior from Puerto Rico, tied a career-high 16 points for Tech, hitting six of his seven shots from the floor and four of his six free-throw attempts. He also grabbed seven rebounds.
Erick Green paced Tech with 17 points, hitting 6 of 12 from the floor, and he also grabbed seven boards. He and Davila were the only two Tech players in double figures.
The Hokies return to conference play this Saturday with a game against Clemson at Cassell Coliseum. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.
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