BLACKSBURG – Duke’s Seth Curry scored 19 points in the first half, getting the No. 6-ranked Blue Devils off to a fast start, and Virginia Tech never recovered in falling 88-56 to the Blue Devils in an ACC game played Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum.
Tech fell to 11-15 overall, 2-11 in the ACC. Duke, which was coming off a loss at Maryland, moved to 23-3 overall, 10-3 in league play.
The Hokies scored the first four points in the game, but Duke went on an 8-0 run after that and never trailed again. The Blue Devils led by as many as 20 in the first half, thanks largely to Curry, who nailed 5 of 10 from the floor in the first 20 minutes, including 5 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
“Duke was very good tonight, and we were not good at all,” Tech coach James Johnson said. “They had a lot to do with it. Their pressure on the defensive end took us out of it early, took us out of our execution, and we dug ourselves a hole.
“That was one of the keys to the game. We wanted to get off to a good start, and we knew that, coming off a loss, they’d be ready to play and try to hit us with the first punch. We didn’t respond well to that. We dug ourselves a hole and weren’t able to get out of it at all.”
Curry, the son of former Virginia Tech standout Dell Curry, finished with 22 points. Rasheed Sulaimon added 17 points, as he and Curry combined to hit eight of Duke’s 12 3-point field goals, which tied a season. The Blue Devils shot 12 of 17 from beyond the 3-point arc and 53.6 percent from the floor overall.
Erick Green, the nation’s leading scorer at 25.3 points per game coming into the game, paced the Hokies with 22 points. He hit 8 of 14 from the floor, including a 3-pointer, and all five of his free-throw attempts.
C.J. Barksdale added a career-high 14 points – his first double figure game since the Hokies’ overtime win against Georgia Tech and his sixth overall this season. Cadarian Raines had 10, but the rest of the team combined for just 10 points.
“I'm going to say there's hope because I believe in this team,” Green said. “I'm sure a lot of people don't, but I do. We've just got to get some guys on board. We've got to stop making excuses. There's always an excuse some way, some how, instead of just playing the game. We've got to have more guys step up. Scoring four points isn't going to help us win games. That's what it boils down to.”
Tech will try to right the ship on Sunday when the Hokies take on Florida State at Cassell Coliseum. Tip-off for the game is slated for 6 p.m.
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