Duke

Duke’s second straight win without Bagley is a 74-52 victory over Virginia Tech

The biggest question heading into Duke’s game against Virginia Tech was whether Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III would be available to play Wednesday night.

And if he wasn’t available to play, which he wasn’t, would Duke be able to put together a similar performance to how it did against Georgia Tech on Sunday when it won 80-69.

Virginia Tech was a tougher team than Georgia Tech. It had beaten current No. 1 Virginia on Saturday in overtime on Virginia’s home floor. But Duke would have none of that Wednesday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils carried the momentum the team had after a 7-0 run at the end of the first half into the second half, and eventually defeated the Hokies 74-52.

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With the win Duke (21-5, 9-4 ACC) has now won two straight games, after losing two straight.

Bagley, Duke’s leading scorer (21.2 points per game) and rebounder (11.4 per game), missed his second straight game of the season with a knee injury.

bagley
Duke guard Gary Trent Jr. (left) slaps hands with Duke forward Marvin Bagley III (35) as he watches the team warm up before the Virginia Tech game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Bagley missed his second game in a row due to a sprained knee. Chuck Liddy cliddy@newsobserver.com

Despite that, Duke found ways to score and mostly through its senior guard Grayson Allen.

Allen was on fire, reminiscent of his game against Michigan State on Nov. 14, in which he scored a career-high 37 points.

Although he wasn’t as good as he was on that night, he was definitely the best player on the court. Allen finished this game with 25 points and was 7-for-15 from the 3-point line.

The game started out slow. Both teams battled back and forth early in the game. Through the first 18 minutes of the game, neither team led by more than five points.

But Duke ended the first half on a 7-0 run. Allen was responsible for five of those points. Freshman guard Gary Trent Jr. was also good. He had 19 points and was 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point line.

Freshman point guard Trevon Duval, who came off the bench on Sunday, in favor of freshman guard Alex O’Connell, started on Wednesday. Sunday’s game was the first game all season that he did not start.

In this game, he primarily played off ball. But he still made an impact. He finished with 10 points and 3 assists.

duval drive
Duke guard Trevon Duval (1) goes in for a first half shot as Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. (24) and Virginia Tech forward Chris Clarke (15) defend. Duke battled Virginia Tech at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. Chuck Liddy cliddy@newsobserver.com

His biggest play came on a fast break midway through the second half, when he threw an alley-oop pass to Javin DeLaurier for a dunk that put the Blue Devils up 56-39 with 11:30 left in the game.

The crowd roared and Duke continued to one of its most convincing wins of the season.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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