No. 2 Duke outlasts Georgia Tech, 73-64
Tre Jones hit two key baskets down the stretch and No. 2 Duke extended its decade-long domination of Georgia Tech, holding off the Yellow Jackets 73-64 on Wednesday night.
The Blue Devils (14-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) extended their winning streak to eight in a row, and their firm hold on this series goes back much further. Georgia Tech (7-7, 2-2) has lost 13 straight to Duke since its last victory over the Blue Devils on Jan. 9, 2010 -- almost 10 years ago to the day.
The Yellow Jackets rallied from a double-digit deficit but couldn't make a basket in the closing minutes, missing 14 of their last 15 shots.
Jones led the Blue Devils with 16 points, including a pull-up jumper that snapped a 61-all tie and another floater in the lane that extended the edge to 68-64.
Cassius Stanley and Vernon Carey Jr. added 14 apiece.
Joe Alvarado paced Georgia Tech with 18 points. James Banks scored 14 points, grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds and swatted away seven shots.
Turning up the defensive pressure, Duke appeared to take control with a 12-0 run late in the first half. All six baskets in the outburst were layups or dunks, three of them set up by Georgia Tech turnovers.
The Yellow Jackets went more than four minutes without scoring and suddenly found themselves down 34-22 in a game they led throughout much of the opening period.
Duke went to the locker room with a 40-29 edge after Jones slipped under the basket to tip in a missed 3-pointer by Matthew Hurt, the ball dropping through the hoop just as the red light came on. The referees briefly reviewed the play before ruling it beat the expiring clock.
Coming off a 13-point victory at North Carolina, Georgia Tech did its best to impress a rare sellout crowd at McCamish Pavilion. A massive line of students wrapped halfway around the 8,600-seat arena, stretching thin a security staff and ticket-scanners who weren't used to handling such crowds.
In the end, the Yellow Jackets couldn't finish off a feat they have not accomplished since 2009-10 -- beating Duke and the Tar Heels in the same season.
Duke: Played without freshman Wendell Moore Jr., who underwent surgery after breaking his right hand in a victory over Miami last weekend. The 6-foot-6 forward will miss extensive time but is expected to return this season.
Georgia Tech: Michael Devoe, who came into the game leading the Yellow Jackets in scoring at 16.9 points a game, endured a tough night. He finished 3 of 11 from the field, including 1 for 6 beyond the arc. The one he'll really be kicking himself for was an open 3 that would've given Georgia Tech a 67-66 lead. It bounced off the rim and over the backboard. The Yellow Jackets went scoreless the rest of the way.
Duke: Returns home to face Wake Forest on Saturday.
Georgia Tech: Heads north to face Boston College on Saturday.