No. 3 Duke handles Georgia Tech, 73-57
Posted January 17, 2013
Updated January 18, 2013
Durham, N.C. — FINAL: It took some time to get things going, but Duke eventually rode a dominant second half performance to secure a win over Georgia Tech. Mason Plumlee came out flat to start the game, shooting 2-for-12 from the field. He would finish the game with 16 points, shooting 7-for-20. Seth Curry shot lights-out, connecting on six 3-pointers and leading all scorers with 24 points. Rasheed Sulaimon's 15 points were another bright spot for the Blue Devils.
Georgia Tech's defense looked strong early, but had the wind knocked out of it after some big Duke scoring that gave some momentum to the home team. Tech's Chris Bolden looked good for most of the game. He finished with 20 points. Still, the Yellow Jackets showed their youth and inexperience in their inability to hang with Duke for the length of the game. Other than Bolden, no other player was able to step up and score points. 20 turnovers also plagued the Jackets throughout the game.
Duke is now 10-0 at home this year. Seth Curry has scored 46 points in his last two games combined.
2:25 Second Half: After securing a big lead in the second half, the Cameron Crazies were looking for some excitement to keep the energy going in the building. They found it when Seth Curry hit a deep, contested 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with 5 minutes left in the game. The shot was impressive enough to send the sound level in Durham skyrocketing. Curry has shot his way to 22 points, and Duke leads 67-55.
7:04 Second Half: And the Duke dominance continues. Seth Curry hit another three with 8 minutes left in the game and now has 19 points. Rasheed Sulaimon has been able to connect well on some jumpers on his way to 10 points. Chris Bolden is handling the bulk of the Georgia Tech scoring responsibility, but has not gotten much help from his teammates. He has 18.
11:58 Second Half: Duke has gained so much momentum en route to their 50-36 lead, even Coach K is getting excited. Duke's coach ran out to embrace Mason Plumlee during a timeout, showing his pleasure with the big man for his improved second-half play. Plumlee now has 14 points. Whatever pain Seth Curry was feeling at the end of the NC State game last week, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it anymore. He has as game-high 16 points and is shooting 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Georgia Tech's defense is softening as Duke continues to turn on the shooting, and there has not been a Yellow Jacket player to step up and make a difference on offense.
17:10 Second Half: In the first 30 seconds of the second half, Quinn Cook hit a 3-pointer to give Duke a two point lead. They haven't given it back since, and now lead 36-31. Mason Plumlee is finally finishing around the rim, and he has 4 points to start the half.
Halftime: Rasheed Sulaimon hit a contested 3-pointer in the final minute, Amile Jefferson drove and scored in the closing seconds, and Duke has managed to cut the deficit to just one point going into the half. Defense has been the name of the game for Georgia Tech, just as it has been all season. Duke is shooting 27% from the field, and Mason Plumlee has been greatly bothered down low by Georgia Tech bigs.13 Yellow Jacket turnovers have kept the team from building a bigger lead. Tech's Chris Bolden leads all scorers with 11 points. For Duke, Seth Curry has 8 points behind two 3-pointers.
4:37 First Half: Georgia Tech is in the middle of a 9-0 run against Duke as the Blue Devils may be missing the defensive presence of injured forward Ryan Kelly. Georgia Tech's Chris Bolden has 11 points and center Daniel Miller has 6. On defense, the Jackets have held Mason Plumlee to 6 points on an unimpressive 2-for-10 shooting. As a team, Duke is shooting just 23% from the field.
7:46 First Half: Duke has narrowed the early-game gap that Tech created, thanks in part to eight Georgia Tech turnovers. Mason Plumlee is now getting some help on offense, as Rasheed Sulaimon has 3 points. Amile Jefferson, Alex Murphy, and Seth Curry all have 2 points apiece.
11:15 First Half: The Blue Devils got off to a slow start against Georgia Tech, and the Jackets jumped to a 7-2 lead. Georgia Tech dominated the glass to start strong. Chris Bolden leads the game with 7 early points. Mason Plumlee has been defended well. He has scored 6 points but is shooting just 2-for-7 from the field.
The now third-ranked Duke Blue Devils get their first shot at redemption on Thursday, as they play host to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in ACC action at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils won their first 15 games on the 2012-13 season and ascended the polls to the number one spot as a result. Last weekend Duke felt the sting of its first setback, falling to 2-1 in league play with an 84-76 loss at NC State.
A young team in Atlanta, Brian Gregory's Yellow Jackets have had their ups and downs. The team is a solid 10-5 on the year, but things in conference play haven't started according to plan. Georgia Tech has lost three straight games, all in-conference, including a heart-breaking 70-65 overtime loss at home to Virginia Tech last weekend.
Duke holds a 65-23 edge in the all-time series, including wins in the last four meetings and 28 of the last 31 matchups overall. Duke has also won five straight against Georgia Tech in Durham.
Georgia Tech is not a flashy offensive team by any stretch, instead leaning on strong defensive play to remain in games. The Yellow Jackets are yielding just 57.1 ppg this season, holding foes well under 40 percent shooting (.371). Freshman Marcus Georges-Hunt leads the team in scoring at 10.9 ppg. Another youngster, freshman Robert Carter Jr. is a close second at 10.1 ppg. Senior guard Mfon Udofia rounds out the top scoring threats at 10.0 ppg.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, but in the end, Tech faltered in the extra session and fell for the third straight time. The Yellow Jackets committed just nine turnovers in the game, but Virginia Tech owned a 43-32 edge in rebounding and outscored Tech 19-13 at the free-throw line. Four Yellow Jackets reached double figures in the loss, led by Carter's 12 points. Georges-Hunt and Udofia added 11 points apiece, while Chris Bolden added 10 points off the bench.
Despite suffering its first loss of the season, Duke has had little to no trouble generating offense. The team comes into this game averaging 79.1 ppg, shooting .478 from the floor overall, including .418 from behind the arc. The long range shooting took a bit of a hit recently with a foot injury suffered by Ryan Kelly (13.4 ppg), but there is the necessary depth to compensate. First and foremost, Duke enjoys getting the ball down low to 6-10 senior Mason Plumlee, who averages a double-double with team-highs of 17.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Perimeter balance comes in the form of guards Seth Curry (16.4 ppg), Quinn Cook (11.8 ppg) and Rasheed Sulaimon (10.8 ppg).
Four Blue Devils finished in double figures last weekend, but it wasn't enough to topple the explosive Wolfpack in Raleigh. Curry led the charge with 22 points. Cook finished with 17 points and seven assists. Plumlee recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 boards, while youngster Amile Jefferson chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
There is simply too much talent on the Duke roster for the team to experience losing streaks of any significance. Expect the Blue Devils to get back in the win column at home, at the expense of the young Yellow Jackets.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 77, Georgia Tech 58