For the second straight game, the Hokies made the necessary corrections during the break and controlled the second half. Trailing by seven at halftime, Tech outscored the Irish 42-21 to put together an impressive 14-point win moving them to 3-1 in the ACC and 9-2 overall. The Hokies had 35 points off the bench, 18 for Jalen Cone and 15 from Hunter Cattoor, and corrected the primary issue against Miami the other week — free throws — as Tech went 10-for-12 down the stretch. Up next is a visit from Duke Blue Devils.
Last season Tech lost both games against Duke by sizable margins (14 and 24 points). However, prior to last season’s defeats, the Hokies had beaten Duke three times in a row in Blacksburg. Last year’s losses were a result of VT’s reliance on the three, Landers Nolley, and lack of depth. All three have been remedied in year two of Mike Young’s tenure, in what may be the only meeting this season between the Hokies and the Blue Devils.
Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
Matchup: Virginia Tech (9-2 | 3-1) vs. Duke (5-2 | 3-0)
Venue: Cassell Coliseum (Blacksburg, VA)
Time: 7:00 pm ET
TV: ACC Network
Radio: TuneIn Radio
Live stats: HokieSports
ESPN Favorite: 58.8% for the Hokies.
All-time series: 11-49 in favor of Duke.
Scoring: Aluma (VT - 15.5) & Hurt (Duke - 19.6)
Rebounds: Aluma (VT - 7.0) & Hurt (Duke- 8.1)
Assists: Bede (VT - 3.0) & Goldwire (Duke - 4.0)
Don’t let Duke’s record fool you. It has been a start-stop season for Duke who have had six games either postponed due to COVID or canceled outright. They have won all three of their ACC contests to date (Notre Dame, Boston College, & Wake Forest) and their only two losses have come against teams ranked in the top 10 (Illinois & Michigan State).
If you are unfamiliar with the many of the names playing, well that’s natural as they continue to reload with star freshmen who have their sights on the NBA. The Blue Devils are led by sophomore Matthew Hurt and a trio of talented freshmen. The Hokies will need to be prepared for Hurt from the behind the arc and Duke’s pressure defense, which has forced an average of 9.6 turnovers per game.
Despite the lack of crowd Tuesday evening in Cassell it should be a tight game and an important chance for the Hokies to add to their resume. Winning over Duke any year is not only a big boost in confidence but helps as Tech looks to return to the NCAA Tournament this year.