Blue Devils Stung In Atlanta

Up by six and coming off a subpar performance in the first half, it seemed as though the Blue Devils would have a chance to steal a victory in Atlanta. However, an inspired Georgia Tech team would dominate in the second half to hand Duke its first conference loss of the season, 71-67.

Senior Jon Scheyer scored a game high 25 points for Duke, but it wasn't enough.

Gani Lawal scored a 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help the Yellow Jackets rally from as many as nine down to help Georgia Tech upset the fifth ranked Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta.

The 6'9 junior who once appeared on the Blue Devils' recruiting radar was a matchup problem all game long - especially when it counted. Lawal converted back to back misses to give Tech the lead with just under eight minutes remaining. It was, however, his last two field goals that counted the most as Lawal gave his team a 60-58 lead off an offensive rebound and then would extend the lead to four with just over a minute left.

As good as Lawal was for Tech, classmate Kyle Singler struggled just as much - if not more - for Duke. The Duke forward converted just 2-of-13 from the field including just 2-of-8 from the perimeter to leave the Blue Devils without much needed support for senior Jon Scheyer.

It wasn't just Singler suffering from an off-game either. Nolan Smith, who had scored in double figures in every game this season, finished with just nine points.

With two of the top three scorers having off nights, the Blue Devils did get a nice contribution from freshman Mason Plumlee who scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in 26 mintues of action - effectively playing soon to be NBA lottery pick Derrick Favors to a statistical draw.

After three games in six days Duke will return to conference action on Wednesday night by hosting the Boston College Eagles.


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