It’s hard to win in the ACC but even harder when you allow your opponent to shoot 50% from beyond the arc. The young Blue Devils found out that the margin for error, especially on the road is minute at best and for this team even smaller. The Blue Devils travelled to Blacksburg a 2 point underdog but needing a win on the road to keep pace with the middle of the ACC pack. They were unsuccessful but showed growth in some areas – slippage in others.
Despite jumping out to a 7 point early lead the patented Duke scoring drought and their inability lately to stay with shooters on the perimeter had the Blue Devils in an early 13 point deficit. The Blue Devils ended the half on an 8-2 run to trim the lead to 7 on a Kyle Filipowski 3-point shot and quickly overtook the Hokies in the second half. Unfortunately the Duke scoring drought that has plagued this team time and time again took hold and the Blue Devils found themselves clawing once again after building a 5 point lead. The 8-0 run from the home team put Duke once again at a disadvantage. Down 5 at the last media timeout the Blue Devils were able to tie the game on 2 Kyle Filipowski free throws and a Tyrese Proctor 3-pointer.
Virginia Tech then connected on a mid-range jumper to reclaim the lead and then hit one-of-two free throws to finish off the Blue Devils.
Virginia Tech guard Hunter Cattoor torched the Blue Devils once again from beyond the arc scoring 15 points and going 5-10 from beyond the arc while forward Grant Basile scored 24 to lead he Hokies
Freshman Kyle Filipowski scored a career and game-high 29 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-8 from three-point range and 7-of-9 from the free throw line. He recorded his 10th double-double (fourth consecutive) with 10 rebounds to go with two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
Tyrese Proctor and Dariq Whitehead accounted for the only other double-figure scorers for Duke with each knocking down 10 points. Whitehead would exit the game with what looked like a lower leg injury only playing 17 minutes in the game. Proctor also finished the game with 6 assists.
- The Blue Devils showed some growth in battling back from deficits twice before eventually losing.
- For the second straight game the Blue Devils shot 39% or better from 3-point range, could have been even higher but several open shots were missed.
- Despite some early turnovers the Blue Devils only turned it over 7 times in the game
- The most pressing issue for the Blue Devils is the status of Dariq Whitehead, who’s injury looked to be on the serious side.
- As far as the game itself the Blue Devil defense, especially in the first half was lackluster from beyond the arc.
- Offensively the droughts were fewer in this game but for 2-straight games the Blue Devils missed critical free throws down the stretch. Jeremy Roach missed the front end of a 1 &1 and Kyle Filipowski missed 1 of 2 on a trip in the waning minutes. It didn’t cost them against Miami on Saturday but 3 crucial chances at narrowing the gap were huge.
- The Blue Devils once again left plenty of shots on the rim just as they did in the Miami game. Ryan Young whiffed on an open layup and several of the Duke bigs missed shots down the stretch that were at point blank range seemingly unaware of their being a backboard.