|RIVERS (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)|
It looked to have paid off as the Blue Devils put together one of their more complete performances in their victory on Thursday night.
Austin Rivers led the Blue Devils with 18 points and added five assists and five rebounds, and the Blue Devils used a 13-2 burst late in the first half to open a double-digit lead they never relinquished.
Two hard practices before the trip to Cassell Coliseum helped Duke find its focus and maintain it throughout. Blue Devil Ryan Kelly said the move away from social media was a team decision, and coach Mike Krzyzewski said it’s a mature one that could pay dividends.
“They just decided that instead of a twitter family or whatever, it’s better to concentrate on our family,” he said. “It’s for the next couple of months and then they’ll have a lot to tweet about. Hopefully, they will.”
Krzyzewski made two changes to the starting lineup, removing Seth Curry and Kelly in favor of Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton—a move mostly inspired by defensive play.
All new moves aside, Kelly had seven points in the 13-2 spurt that helped the Blue Devils (19-3, 6-1 ACC) pull away. Rivers hit a 3-pointer and Kelly scored the last five in a 10-0 burst in the second half when Duke extended its lead to 62-40 with 11:19 remaining.
|MASON PLUMLEE (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)|
Curry added 11 points and Mason Plumlee had 10 for Duke.
The loss was the seventh in eight games for Virginia Tech (12-10, 1-6) and left coach Seth Greenberg hoarse and disappointed, he said, with how his team handled adversity.
“We had some guys miss some shots and that affected their ability to do anything on the other end, and you can’t have that and beat a good team,” he said. “We did some good things, but when they kind of bowed their neck, I thought we melted.”
Five of the previous losses were by four points or fewer, but the Blue Devils left nothing to chance in avenging a 64-60 setback at Cassell Coliseum last February.
Erick Green led Virginia Tech with 17 points and Victory Davila tied his career high with 16.