No. 2 Duke overcomes halftime deficit to down Hokies in ACC opener, 76-65


Duke’s Wendell Moore Jr. (0) reacts after hitting a three-point shot during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia Tech in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Duke trailed Virginia Tech at halftime of Wednesday’s ACC opener, but the second-ranked Blue Devils exploded in the second half on their way to a 76-65 win.

The two were tied at 31 apiece with 3:06 left in the first half. Justyn Mutts’ dunk followed by a 3-pointer by Hunter Cattoor pushed Virginia Tech to a 36-32 lead at the break.

That Hokies lead grew to 8 in the early stages of the second until Duke went on a 13-0 run to take the lead. A.J. Griffin’s dunk was the exclamation point on the surge and the Blue Devils never looked back.

Virginia Tech trimmed its deficit to 54-49 thanks to a Cattoor dunk near the midway point of the second. But another flurry of 7 unanswered points had Duke ahead 63-49 with 7:43 to go.

Duke outscored the visitors 44-29 in the second half.

Wendell Moore Jr. and Paolo Banchero combined for 41 points to lead Duke. Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma scored a game-high 25 points.

The Blue Devils will travel to Clemson on Dec. 29 then to Notre Dame on Jan. 1.

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