Duke basketball secures road win over Georgia Tech with UNC looming next week
With an important home stretch next week that will conclude with a prime time matchup against archrival North Carolina, Duke basketball earned a stabilizing win Saturday afternoon against Georgia Tech at McCamish Pavilion.
The 86-43 rout of the Yellow Jackets was only the second road win of the season for the Blue Devils (15-6, 6-4 ACC), who avoided a third loss in the last four games and falling to .500 in conference play. Georgia Tech (8-13, 1-10) lost its seventh straight and remained a game ahead of last-place Louisville (2-19, 0-10 ACC).
Closing halves has been an issue for Duke this season, but behind strong interior play, the Blue Devils built an 18-point halftime lead by making their last five shots. They started the second half on a 19-3 run to build a 32-point lead in the opening seven minutes.
Freshman Kyle Filipowski led the way with 18 points and seven rebounds, just short of his 12th double-double this season. Jeremy Roach scored all 12 of his points from 3 and Dereck Lively II added nine points and 10 rebounds. Duke had five players score in double figures.
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3-point shooting leads to halftime edge
Duke’s proficiency at the 3-point line to open the first half, starting 4-of-6, opened space in the interior that led to a 43-25 halftime lead.
Led by 14 points from Filipowski, the Blue Devils built an early lead from beyond the arc and then used an 11-2 run in the final 4:01, including two dunks and two easy layups, to put Georgia Tech away early. Duke finished the half with 11 assists on 15 field goals, including four assists from freshman Tyrese Proctor. He finished with a career-high eight assists.
The Blue Devils were 6-of-13 from 3 in the first half.
Good sign for Dariq Whitehead
Duke freshman Dariq Whitehead was not available against Georgia Tech, but after what looked like a severe lower-body injury against Virginia Tech, he was seen without crutches, warming up with the team before Saturday’s tip.
Coach Jon Scheyer said Thursday the injury was a ligament strain and "not any more than that."
He should be able to return shortly for the Blue Devils, which is good news considering the upcoming games against Wake Forest and the Tar Heels – the first under Scheyer.
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Duke basketball finds success on the road against Georgia Tech