Duke’s latest winning streak came to a crashing halt, meaning the sixth-ranked Blue Devils should be plenty fired up to make corrections for their next game.
That comes against visiting Virginia Tech on Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.
While Duke was getting blown out Wednesday night at North Carolina State, Virginia Tech was also losing, but in a triple-overtime affair with visiting Miami.
The outcome of the Duke game was most shocking, with the 88-66 setback the first time the team lost by more than seven points all season. It was the largest margin of defeat to an unranked opponent in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 40 years at the school.
“They just punched us in the month in the first half and we just couldn’t get back,” Duke center Vernon Carey Jr. told reporters after the game.
Duke guard Tre Jones said at this stage of the season that the Blue Devils, who had won seven in a row, should know what to expect.
“We’ve played a lot of games now, so we’ve got to come out ready,” Jones said. “No more excuses this deep into the season. We’ve got to put this behind us but learn from it and not do it anymore.”
Duke (22-4, 12-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) dropped out of first place in the conference, falling a half-game behind Louisville though they are tied in the loss column.
“Our kids have won 22 games and 12 conference games and you have to stay hungry while you’re winning at that level,” Krzyzewski said. “… That was our worst game and (N.C. State) made us look bad, too.”
Despite the ragged first half, the Blue Devils rallied to within 11 points with 11 minutes to play. They scored only 16 points the rest of the game, however.
“Hopefully we’ll be more competitive Saturday and in the rest of our games,” Krzyzewski said.
Duke was the last team to play its ACC opener this season, defeating Virginia Tech 77-63 in that Dec. 6 game in Blacksburg, Va.
Virginia Tech (15-11, 6-9) was in a tussle in its latest game. The Hokies fell 102-95 to Miami in the ACC’s first triple-overtime game in 17 years.
Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said the Hokies have needed to be crisper offensively and he saw signs of that this week.
“Playing with a better pace (because) we tend to get a little flat-footed,” Young said. “We become easy to guard so I want to see us getting downhill earlier in that shot clock. Not so much to shoot quicker but to be more difficult to guard and to find a favorable matchup.”
In the Miami game, Tyrece Radford poured in 26 points and Jalen Cone added 20. Those are season-high totals for both freshmen. They combined for 14 points in the first game against Duke.
Radford and Landers Nolley II both had double-doubles, the first time in three seasons two Hokies pulled off the feat in the same game.
Radford’s progress has been clear.
“He’s turning into a terrific player,” Young said. “He is so aggressive. He is only going to get better too.”
–Field Level Media