The Virginia Tech Hokies had defeated the Duke Blue Devils in five of their previous six meetings in Blacksburg. So, with the Hokies riding a three-game winning streak heading into Monday night, Virginia Tech felt good about potentially taking down No. 7 Duke.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, as the Blue Devils controlled the Hokies and came away with a relatively comfortable 77-67
Tech came out firing early, holding a 13-9 lead. However, Duke went on a 12-0 run over the next over the next five minutes to take a 21-13 lead. The Blue Devils would never trail again. Duke was too strong on the boards, outrebounding the Hokies 38-20.
Duke’s three big men (Kyle Filipowski, Mark Mitchell and Ryan Young) combined for 32 points and 21 rebounds, while senior guard Jeremy Roach came off the bench to lead the Devils with 16 points.
The Hokies struggled from beyond the arc, connecting on just six of 22 from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Duke made nine of its 17 attempts from behind the 3-point line.
Junior guard Sean Pedulla had a rough day from the field, making only four of his 15 shot attempts and missing all six from beyond the arc. He still scored 12 points but was largely ineffective throughout the game.
Sophomore MJ Collins was Virginia Tech’s star on Monday night. Collins led all scorers with 17 points. He entered the game shooting only 30% from the field, but Collins was seven of 13 from the floor, including three of six from behind the 3-point line.
Hunter Cattoor scored 15 for Tech, while Lynn Kidd scored 12. Cattoor made some history on Monday, hitting his 300th career 3-pointer, becoming the first player in school history to accomplish that feat.
Yes, Virginia Tech missed a golden opportunity to pick up a Quad 1 win over Duke. However, the Hokies will have another chance this week when they travel to Miami on Saturday. Tech has three of its next four games on the road and must pick up a win over the Hurricanes to improve its NCAA Tournament hopes.
After Monday’s loss, Virginia Tech falls to 13-8 and 5-5 in the ACC.