Curry leads No. 3 Duke past Va Tech, 85-57
Seth Curry scored 20 points in his final home game and No. 3 Duke pulled away to beat Virginia Tech 85-57 on Tuesday night.Fellow senior Ryan Kelly added 18 points in his second straight strong performance since coming back from an injury for the Blue Devils (26-4, 13-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
They shot nearly 52 percent yet struggled for a while before outscoring the Hokies 32-10 during the final 12-plus minutes to finish unbeaten at home for the 17th time in school history.
Erick Green scored 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting to lead Virginia Tech (13-17, 4-13), which hasn't beaten a team in the upper half of the league standings all season.
But for much of the game, Green and the Hokies found a way to keep pace with Duke. Jarell Eddie's jumper with 12½ minutes left pulled Virginia Tech to 53-47.
But Kelly capped Duke's next possession with an extraordinary effort to stick back a rebound after Tyler Thornton had a shot blocked. That started a game-ending run in which the Blue Devils scored on 15 of their final 16 possessions and included curtain calls for the three seniors — Curry, Mason Plumlee and Kelly.
The Blue Devils improved to 17-0 this season with Kelly — who missed nearly two months with a right foot injury before coming back to score 36 points last time out in his first game back, a 79-76 victory over then-No. 5 Miami three nights earlier.
Plumlee and Quinn Cook each finished with 14 points while Curry — the son of former Virginia Tech and NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry — hit five of Duke's 12 3-pointers in his final regularly scheduled game against his dad's alma mater.
There were traps aplenty in this one for the Blue Devils, who had a tough time generating the same high level of emotional energy that they had against the Hurricanes.
Couple that with rival North Carolina looming ahead this weekend, and it might have been easy for Duke to look past a last-place Virginia Tech team that the Blue Devils had beaten by 32 a few weeks earlier in Blacksburg.
Cameron was energized for the Senior Night festivities — but not much else — after that during a first half surprisingly led for much of the way by the Hokies. Duke outscored Virginia Tech 26-11 during a 9-minute stretch to turn a seven-point deficit into an eight-point lead, but led just 38-35 at the end of a sluggish first half. Duke pushed its lead to 12 slightly over 4 minutes into the second half on a Curry 3 before Green briefly brought the Hokies right back.
Eddie finished with 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting for Virginia Tech.