Virginia Tech overwhelms No. 5 Duke

By The Sports Xchange

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Playing its first nationally ranked opponent of the season, Virginia Tech didn't flinch against fifth-ranked Duke.

Instead, the Hokies flourished on Saturday.


Justin Bibbs scored a season-high 18 points and Virginia Tech had Duke rattled from the beginning in an 89-75 victory to open Atlantic Coast Conference play for both teams at sold-out Cassell Coliseum.

"We know when we play fast, we're really hard to guard," said guard Justin Robinson, who supplied a game-high seven assists.

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The Hokies (12-1, 1-0 in the ACC) put on an offensive clinic at times, with six players scoring in double figures.

Ahmed Hill had 17 points, Seth Allen and Robinson both scored 14 points, Chris Clarke added 13 and Zach LeDay chipped in 11.

"Our game plan was to dominate and play fast and play hard," Allen said. "Our crowd really kept us in it. We got a lot of stops when they got it down (to a 13-point deficit)."


Luke Kennard scored 34 and Jayson Tatum had 18 points for Duke, which was playing its first true road game of the season.

"I never knew what to expect," Duke freshman guard Frank Jackson said. "I knew it was going to be hard. Hopefully, this wakes us up a little bit."

The Blue Devils (12-2, 0-1) were the preseason ACC favorites and the preseason No. 1 team in the country.

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"That's unacceptable," Duke senior forward Amile Jefferson said of the Blue Devils' performance. "That's a reality check."

This was the first game since Duke junior guard Grayson Allen's latest tripping incident drew widespread attention and an indefinite suspension.

"They made us not play well and then we did not play well," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "That's disconcerting."

This was only the ninth victory for Virginia Tech in 54 meetings with Duke. The 89 points were the most for the Hokies against the Blue Devils

After the Blue Devils closed to within 52-41, Bibbs scored the next seven points and the lead bumped up to 72-52 with 9:44 left.


The Hokies carved through the Duke defense -- both man-to-man and zone -- for a 47-31 halftime lead.

It took Virginia Tech more than three minutes to score to begin the second half, but the Blue Devils had only two points during that stretch.

Virginia Tech took an 8-0 lead when Duke missed its first seven shots from the field. Kennard was the only Duke player to score in the first seven minutes as the Hokies were on their way to a 25-13 edge.

"I think we started better (than past games)," Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. "I thought our pace was much, much better."

With Allen sitting out for Duke, Williams said it was important for his team to stick to its plan regardless of the Blue Devils' lineup.

"We were very open with our guys," Williams said. "If he doesn't play, how does it change what we need to do."

Krzyzewski said another lineup change, while unsettling, was something the Blue Devils encountered during the opening weeks of the season when injuries impacted the team's rotation.

"We've played without a lot of people throughout the year," he said.

Jackson, returning to the starting lineup for the first time in four games, was tagged with his third foul with 7:38 left in the first half.


Bibbs' third 3-pointer sent the Hokies ahead 31-17 and the margin grew to 38-21.

The Hokies hit 5 of 8 3-point shots in the first half as part of 58.1-percent shooting from the field. Duke was 1 of 7 from long range at the break.

NOTES: Suspended Duke G Grayson Allen was with the team on the bench. He was handed an indefinite suspension by the school after a tripping incident involving Steven Santa Ana of Elon in Duke's previous game Dec. 21. ... Virginia Tech stretched its home-court winning streak to 14 games. ... Duke won the previous nine meetings between the teams. This was the only scheduled meeting this season. ... Duke G Luke Kennard's streak of 17 consecutive games with at least one 3-point basket is the longest active streak for an ACC player. ... Duke returns home for Wednesday night's game against Georgia Tech. That same night, Virginia Tech visits North Carolina State.

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