Tech Stings Duke In Atlanta

If Duke was hoping to rebound after a conference opening loss to Virginia Tech last weekend, those hopes were dashed as the Blue Devils fell to a second straight league foe Wednesday night in Atlanta.

Despite 12 points and 5 rebounds from Josh McRoberts, the Blue Devils find themselves 0-2 in the ACC for the first time in more than a decade and squarely in the basement of the league standings. All that thanks to a 74-63 loss to a hungry Georgia Tech team that took control of the game midway through the first half and never relinquished,

Certainly it seemed as though the Blue Devils would benefit from the usual magic employed by Mike Krzyzewski over the years coming off a loss as Duke took a 10-2 lead within three minutes. At that point Georgia Tech seemed to find and exploit a weakness in the Duke's defensive armor. Namely the Yellow Jackets went inside to junior big man Re'Sean Dickey who torced the Blue Devils for 14 first half points, while drawing a pair of fouls on McRoberts as Tech put together a 20-5 run to take a 22-15 lead.

Georgia Tech could have built a much bigger lead than their 34-29 halftime tally had it not been for turnovers. Despite shooting a sizzling 55% from the field in the opening half the Yellow Jackets lost possession 11 times in the opening 20 minutes, which allowed the Devils to stay within striking distance.

Duke would make a couple of token runs early in the second half, but Tech would extend a 42-39 advantage with a 10-2 run that pushed the lead to 52-41 with just under 11 minutes remaining in the game. At that point the Yellow Jackets went cold as Duke built an 8-0 run by forcing six turnovers in seven possessions while slowing chipping away at the lead.

Unfortunately that's when the Duke youth reared its head as a turnover on the baseline followed by a wild shot by Greg Paulus quickly resulted in four easy points for the Jackets before Javaris Crittenton converted a three point play to push the lead back to nine with under three minutes to go, effectively dooming the Devils. In all Georgia Tech took a two point game with 3:37 left and changed it into an 11 point lead with 1:48 left.

For Duke, Scheyer scored a team high 16 while junior DeMarcus Nelson added 12 points. Neither shot well from the field with the freshman hitting 6-of-16 and the junior going 6-for-15.

Dickey finished with a game high 21 points and six rebounds, while Anthony Morrow added 19 off the bench - 15 of them in the second half as Georgia Tech improved to 1-2 in the conference.

Sitting at 0-2 in ACC play for the first time since the 1995-1996 season, the Blue Devils will look to avoid a third straight loss when they travel to Miami on Sunday afternoon to face the Hurricanes.


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