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Second-ranked Duke takes control with second-half run, defeats Virginia Tech, 76-65

virginia tech logoThe Virginia Tech basketball team showed up in the first half of their ACC encounter with No. 2 Duke on Wednesday, but in the second half it was all Blue Devils as Tech (8-5, 0-2 ACC) fell 76-65 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Tech actually led 36-32 at the break, overcoming a hot start from the hosts to grab the lead with Keve Aluma scoring 17 points in the first half. Aluma finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

But in the end, the Blues Devils (11-1, 1-0 ACC) were just too much with their loaded squad, overpowering the Hokies inside. Duke outscored Tech 44-29 in the second half to win, though Tech managed to keep it somewhat close late.

Duke were led by top-tier NBA prospect Paolo Banchero, who scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half, impressing head Hokie Mike Young in the process.

“Goodness gracious,” Young said after the game. “That was a pretty impressive performance from that young man.

“What a good-looking basketball player. He’s terrific.”

Banchero went 6-for-11 from the field in the second half. Tech became the first team to lead Duke at the half this season.

For the Hokies, Justyn Mutts scored 20 points, but Nahiem Alleyne was held scoreless, going 0-for-4 from the field. Tech shot 44 in the first half and 40 percent in the second half. Tech was just 1-for-9 from deep in the second half. After shooting 46 percent in the first half, Duke shot a staggering 61 percent in the second half. Duke’s bench also outscored Tech 16-2.

The Hokies return to action on Wednesday at North Carolina at 7 p.m.

Story by Roger Gonzalez

augusta free press
augusta free press