The Duke basketball team picked up a needed road win on Tuesday night with an 80-71 victory at Georgia Tech.
Despite playing without Mike Krzyzewski on the bench, as he stayed in Durham due to an illness, the Blue Devils responded well under Jeff Capel, who assumed the head coaching responsibilities for the night.
The team relied primarily on a zone defense in the first half, but switched to a man-to-man look in the 2nd half, which helped erase a 4-point halftime deficit. Duke held the Yellow Jackets to shooting just 31% from the field in the 2nd half, including 0-for-11 from three-point range.
Offensively, Duke was led by Grayson Allen, who had a game high 27 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out in the final minute. It was also a good night for Derryck Thornton, as he scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting, but did make some bad decisions in the final minute as the Blue Devils allowed Georgia Tech to make things interesting after building a 17-point lead.
Brandon Ingram and Marshall Plumlee did a nice job neutralizing the Yellow Jackets on the glass, which was perceived to be a major weakness for Duke in this matchup. Ingram and Plumlee combined for 22 rebounds
Duke also got some good minutes off the bench from Chase Jeter, and we even saw a first half appearance for Antonio Vrankovic. Jeter still struggled with fouls, but it seemed to be more of an issue with officials anticipating fouls than the freshman center actually creating contact.
Regardless of the results, the minutes for Vrankovic and Jeter gave Marshall Plumlee an opportunity to get some rest early in the game, which helped keep him fresh down the stretch.
With the win, Duke is now 16-6 overall and 5-4 in the ACC. Considering where this team was a couple weeks ago following the home loss to Syracuse, it’s a good sign that Duke was able to go 2-1 on its 3 game road trip.
Now, the Blue Devils return home to face N.C. State in Cameron Indoor Stadium this Saturday.