Luol Deng scored a career-high 22 points and No. 1 Duke extended its winning streak to 15 games with an 82-74 victory Saturday over 14th-ranked Georgia Tech, which hasn't beaten the Blue Devils since 1996.
Duke (18-1, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) went ahead for good on Deng's free throw with 3:13 remaining, and J.J. Redick followed with a 3-pointer that pushed the margin to 72-68.
B.J. Elder made a couple of free throws with 2:52 left to get Georgia Tech (16-4, 4-3) within a basket, but the Yellow Jackets missed their next five shots. Duke pulled away when Daniel Ewing made a 3 and Shavlik Randolphdunked off a bullet pass from Chris Duhon.
Duke has dominated the series against Georgia Tech, winning 15 straight. Most of the games weren't even close -- the Blue Devils' average winning margin before Saturday was 23 points.
Georgia Tech had beaten a No. 1 team this season, routing Connecticut in the Preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden. That game signaled a change in fortunes for the Yellow Jackets, who have made the NCAA tournament only once in the past seven seasons.
With Duke coming to town, Georgia Tech was buzzing with the sort of excitement that had not been seen since Bobby Cremins' glory days in the 1980s and early '90s. Hundreds of students camped overnight outside Alexander Memorial Coliseum, hoping to land a coveted spot inside the 9,100-seat arena.
In a game of numerous spurts and changes of momentum, Georgia Tech bounced back from a 42-32 deficit in the opening minute of the second half.
The Yellow Jackets finally caught up when Luke Schenscher converted a three-point play with 7:17 remaining, putting his team ahead 62-61.
But Duke didn't fall victim on a day of upsets in the Top 25 -- eight teams lost to unranked opponents.
Spurred on by a raucous sellout crowd, Georgia Tech raced to a quick lead on the Blue Devils. When Clarence Moore made a left-hander in the lane, the Yellow Jackets had 15-4 lead and the fans were going crazy.
But the momentum took a definite turn after a brawl nearly broke out alongside the Georgia Tech bench with 11:06 remaining in the half.
Redick fell on his back and was called out of bounds. For some reason, Elder tried to snatch the ball away and got into a tussle with the Duke player.Robert Brooks came off the bench and shoved Redick, then got into it with Ewing, who shouted, "You want a piece of me?"
Order was restored without any punches being thrown, but Brooks was ejected and four technicals were called.
The scuffle seemed to fire up the Blue Devils, who scored the next 11 points for a 21-17 lead. It helped that Schenscher picked up his second foul with 10:40 remaining, sending the 7-foot-1 Australian to the bench.
Duke took advantage of the Yellow Jackets' shortcomings on the inside.Shelden Williams scored six points during the spurt -- including a pair of dunks -- and Deng laid the ball in off a perfect lob by Chris Duhon.
The Blue Devils led 37-32 at the break and forced Georgia Tech to call a timeout less than a minute into the second half. Deng dunked and Ewing connected on a 3-pointer to make it a 10-point game.
Georgia Tech didn't help itself at the foul line, making only 15 of 25. And Elder couldn't follow up a career-high 36 points earlier in the week against Clemson, the most by a Georgia Tech player in 10 seasons.
Elder fouled out with 1:09 remaining after scoring just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Jarrett Jack led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points, and Schenscher had 18.
Deng eclipsed his career high of 21, set in November against Detroit. Duke had four other players in double figures, including Ewing and Williams with 15 points apiece. Williams and Deng each had 10 rebounds, as well.