Published January 13, 2015
Seth Curry posted 20 points and five rebounds as third-ranked Duke used a dominating second half for an 85-57 win over Virginia Tech on Tuesday.
Ryan Kelly had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Mason Plumlee added 14 points, seven rebounds and five helpers for the Blue Devils (26-4, 13-4 ACC), who have won four of five and close out the regular season on Saturday at North Carolina. Quinn Cook gave 14 points and six boards in the victory.
Erick Green had a game-high 25 points for the Hokies (13-17, 4-13), who were coming off a win against Clemson this past Saturday and will finish the regular season at Wake Forest on Sunday.
"Our effort tonight was good for about 30-32 minutes," said Virginia Tech head coach James Johnson. "We came out ready to play in the first half, we just weren't able to make the plays down the stretch that we needed to make."
Duke held a three-point lead at the break, but Plumlee scored the first four points of the second half to start a 13-4 run that allowed the team to create some distance. Curry hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 51-39 advantage just over four minutes in.
A Jarell Eddie 3-pointer cut Virginia Tech's deficit to six points, 53-47, but Duke answered with a pair of layups to push the advantage back to 10.
The Hokies hung around for the next several minutes and it was still a 10- point game after a C.J. Barksdale jumper with just over six minutes to play, but the Blue Devils scored the next 18 points and held their opponent without a point for close to six minutes to put the game away.
"First of all, we picked up our defense, especially our ball screen defense, and made it hard for guys to get into the lane," said Kelly. "It's amazing, when our defense picks up, our offense picks up almost immediately. That has to be something we learn from. We've seen it in the past, and we have to continue to have that."
Virginia Tech led for much of the first half and had a seven-point lead at one point, but an 18-4 run from Duke put the team up 36-28 with around 2 1/2 minutes to play.
However, the Hokies got the next four points and the Blue Devils eventually took a 38-35 lead into the break.
Duke shot 51.7 percent and grabbed 37 rebounds, while Virginia Tech managed just a 38.6 percentage from the floor and pulled down 31 boards ... Eddie gave 13 points in the loss ... Duke has won six straight and 10 of 11 against Virginia Tech for a commanding 42-8 lead in the series.