DURHAM, N.C. – Despite a hot start and much control of the first half, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team fell at No. 3/4 Duke, 85-57, in Cameron Indoor Stadium on the Duke campus. Senior Erick Green paced the Hokies with 25 points, but it was the sharp shooting and play of Duke seniors Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee that lifted the Blue Devils past the Hokies.
Tech moves to 13-17 on the year and 4-13 in league play, while Duke remained a perfect 16-0 on the year at home and improved to 26-4, and 13-4 in the ACC.
The Hokies got out to a great start, going up 8-1 in the opening minutes of the game. Plumlee went 1-for-2 at the line on Duke’s opening possession and it was all Hokies from there to begin the game. Jarell Eddie came out firing, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers, which were followed by a floater in the lane by Erick Green to make up the early lead.
Tech remained in control for the majority of the first half, never allowing the Blue Devils to get any closer than two until late in the half. Eddie’s early run was followed by 6-straight points from Green, but both went cold as the clock ticked down from 10 minutes remaining.
Duke used a 3-pointer from Curry to take its first lead of the game with 6:42 to go until the break and made use of a 16-4 run heading into the final media timeout to extend its lead to 34-28 at the regrouping.
Both teams were shooting 43-percent at the half, and the Hokies kept things close at the break, down just 38-35. Tech outrebounded the Blue Devils 21-15 in the first half, with Eddie and Marshall Wood combining for 11 of those.
Duke picked up where it left off and opened the second half on a 13-4 run to take the 51-39 lead which was capped of by back-to-back 3-pointers from Curry.
Another 3-pointer from Eddie made it a two-possession game at 53-47 with under 13 minutes to play, but Duke responded with four-straight points and that was the closest the Hokies would get for the rest of the game.
Tech finished the game shooting just 38-percent from the field and 29-percent from beyond the arc, while Duke shot over 50-percent from both areas.
Eddie was he only other player in double figures with 13 in the game. He and Wood paced the team with seven rebounds apiece.
Curry used five 3-pointers to lead Duke with 20 points, while Kelly added 18 points and 9 boards, and Plumlee and Quinn Cook put up 14 points apiece.
Tech returns to the court on Sunday, March 10, as it will wrap up the regular season with a 2 p.m. game at Wake Forest.
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