The Blue Devils took a break from conference action this past weekend with a hard-fought 83-76 win over St. John's. With the win, Duke moved to 18-3 on the season. At 5-1 in conference play, Duke trails only Florida State (6-1) and North Carolina (6-1) in the league standings.
The Hokies are much further down the conference ladder, sitting just outside of the league basement at 1-5. Virginia Tech has dropped two straight and six of its last seven games, including a 73-69 setback at Maryland this past weekend.
This is the 46th meeting in a series that dates back to 1912. Duke has won 15 of the last 18 meetings overall and three of the last four matchups at Cassell Coliseum.
The Blue Devils built up a 22-point lead against St. John's and withstood a late rally by the Red Storm to earn the win. Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee were dominant in the frontcourt. Kelly finished with a game-high 16 points and nine rebounds. Plumlee added his ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, while Andre Dawkins and Austin Rivers tacked on 14 and 12 points, respectively. A balanced offensive attack, Duke is 12-1 on the year when four or more players score double figures in a game. One of the top scoring teams in the nation, Duke is shooting an efficient .489 from the field, just under 40 percent from the floor, and putting up 80.3 ppg. Five Blue Devils are currently averaging double figures, led by Rivers' 14.1 ppg. Kelly (12.7 ppg), Seth Curry (12.2 ppg) and Dawkins (10.2 ppg) add to the scoring deluge from the perimeter. Mason Plumlee has been a force down low, converting 61.8 percent from the field and averaging a near double-double with 12.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Four players notched double figures for Virginia Tech against Maryland, but it wasn't enough to earn the win. Erick Green led the way in defeat with 18 points. Victor Davila and Dorenzo Hudson finished with 14 points apiece and Jarell Eddie chipped in 11. Tech fell behind early, connecting on just 6-of-25 from the floor in the first half (.240) and wasn't able to recover. The Hokies aren't the most explosive offensive team around, averaging a modest 67.7 ppg. However, the team still boasts of a +6.6 scoring margin thanks to stellar defensive play. Foes are averaging just 61.1 ppg, shooting under 40 percent from the floor (.396) and well under 30 percent from behind the arc (.259). Green leads the way with 15.9 ppg, shooting a healthy .472 from the floor. Hudson is also in double figures at 11.9 ppg. Eddie is just under the mark at 9.9 ppg.