It was not a thing of beauty against a feisty Virginia Tech team but behindÂ Â 17 points from a refreshed Austin Rivers and 13 points and a career high from Tyler Thornton Duke was able to hold on for the 4 point win. Duke was able to get up to a 9 point lead before Vtech was able to climb back in and make a game of it. Duke was less versatile with out forward Ryan Kelly who is out with a foot injury. Duke struggled to make shots and shot under 20% from 3 but was able to get stops when it needed in order to past Tech. Duke was able to get rebounds from the guard position with more than half of Dukes rebounds coming from Austin Rivers, Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins and Tyler Thornton.
Mason Plumlee delivered a double-double for the Devils with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Josh Hairston grabbed the minutes available due to the Kelly injury and gave Duke 4 points and 3 boards in 17 minutes.
It will be interesting to see how Duke responds with a short and untested bench going into game 2. Duke will face either Miami or Florida State both have defeated Duke in the regular season.