Paolo Banchero scored 17 points and No. 2 Duke won 69-57 over visiting Georgia Tech in a game largely defined by poor shooting Tuesday night in Durham, N.C.
Duke (12-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its fifth straight game, but the Blue Devils hadn’t played since Dec. 22 because they entered a COVID-related pause with two road games postponed last week.
The Blue Devils returned to full practice Monday and they were far from sharp. They shot 37.3 percent from the field, but that was better than Georgia Tech’s 32.8 mark.
Georgia Tech (6-7, 0-3) lost for the second time in three nights after coming off a COVID-based pause that meant nearly a two-week span without a game.
Reserve A.J. Griffin posted 12 points, Mark Williams had 10 points and 14 rebounds, and Trevor Keels provided 10 points for Duke. Wendell Moore Jr. ended up with eight points after missing his first eight attempts from the field.
Michael Devoe racked up 21 points for Georgia Tech. He made three of the Yellow Jackets’ six 3-point baskets as the team went 6-for-20 from long distance. Jordan Usher had 11 points.
Duke shot 26-for-40 on free throws, but that was a considerable advantage as the Yellow Jackets were 9-for-12 at the foul line. Banchero, who snatched 11 rebounds, was 9-for-16 on free throws.
Duke was up 55-41 before Georgia Tech scored six consecutive points and had another possession with a chance to pull closer. Then Devoe drilled a 3 to cut the gap to 56-50 with four minutes left.
Keels scored five of Duke’s next seven points, with his 3-pointer stretching the margin to 63-52 with 2:13 remaining.
The teams combined for just 20 assists.
Duke broke away with a 13-2 run to end the first half, a rally that covered slightly more than five minutes and resulted in the Blue Devils holding a 35-23 edge at the break.
–Field Level Media