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Atlanta, Ga- No.9 ranked Duke Blue Devils held on to a victory after a late run by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 80-69.
Duke, who played without Marvin Bagley III, came out with intensive defense causing carless turnovers by Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The offense, led by Grayson Allen, got the Blue Devils on a roll early by scoring 10 points in the first 12 minutes going 4-6 from the field.
Tadric Jackson came off the bench and sparked the Yellow Jackets by collecting a few steal and started a mini 7-0 run.
The length by the Blue Devils bothered the Ben Lammers and Abdoulaye Gueye as both struggled from inside the paint. “Our defense was very good. Even in the games we lost, teams shot under 40% but we still aren;t where I want us to be,” stated Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski.
At the 8:14 minutes in the game, Georgia Tech’s guard Jose Alvarado left the game with a dislocated elbow after attempting to block Wendell Carter Jr.’s shot and falling awkward to the floor.
Forward Carter Jr., an Atlanta native, made the absent of their star Bagley III seem unnoticeable. Carter Jr. scored inside the paint with no resistance in the first half helping Duke coast through the first half.
After going into half-time with a 43-26 lead, Duke came out in rhythm ballooning the lead to 25 points.
The Yellow Jackets couldn’t get any continuity on offense s coring only five points within the first six minutes of the second half.
Coming with Moses Wright, and Cole Evan off the bench, Georgia Tech was able to go on a 15-3 run which made it a game. The two reserves brought energy which created momentum that affected Duke.
Josh Okogie kept the Yellow Jackets close with a game high 29 points.
“Our guys always fight back and scrap. The issue is why are always getting down but part of that is we’re in a major rebuilding job,” stated Georgia Tech’s coach Josh Pastner.
Allen’s veteran leadership help seal the win late. Allen finished with 23 points and Carter Jr. added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Duke hosts Virginia Tech Cavaliers on 2/14 and Georgia Tech travels to play Wake Forest Demon Deacons on 2/14