Duke Blue Devils knock off Virginia Tech Hokies, 67-55

Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney, left, tries his best to stop Duke's Jon Scheyer, who scored 15 points.
Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney, left, tries his best to stop Duke's Jon Scheyer, who scored 15 points. (Sara D. Davis/associated Press)
  Enlarge Photo    
By Mark Viera
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 22, 2010

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke and Virginia Tech are opposites. With their history and tradition, the Blue Devils are basketball's blue bloods. The Hokies are party crashers from a football school in a remote location.

On Sunday night, though, the programs met as the first- and second-place teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

But No. 6 Duke outlasted the Hokies and asserted itself as the class of the conference with a 67-55 victory here before a rollicking crowd in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"We came here expecting to win the game," guard Dorenzo Hudson said. "We didn't come down here to take second place."

A victory would have put Virginia Tech (21-5, 8-4) in position to win the ACC and would have strengthened its NCAA tournament résumé with a marquee win. But the loss here probably will not hurt the Hokies in the eyes of the selection committee.

Duke (23-4, 11-2) is undefeated at home and had an average margin of victory of 19.2 points in conference games entering the game. But while the Hokies gave a good showing, they could not overcome the Blue Devils' so-called big three. Forward Kyle Singler and guards Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith combined to score 63 points.

"There's a reason those three guys score a lot of points," Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg said. "They're good."

On a night when emotions ran high, both teams were in foul trouble. While in a scrum around a loose ball, Hudson and Smith were issued technical fouls for their unfriendly nose-to-nose conversation with 2 minutes 14 seconds remaining.

"I'm a competitor," Hudson said when asked about the incident. "I'm going to try to do everything to win the game."

Guard Malcolm Delaney, who led the Hokies' with 19 points, was whistled for his third foul with 1:15 before halftime. With Delaney, Jeff Allen and Terrell Bell on the bench for long stretches, Virginia Tech finished the first half with a lineup that featured little-used senior Lewis Witcher and freshmen Erick Green, Cadarian Raines and Ben Boggs. Hudson was the lone starter on the floor. Bell picked up his fourth foul with 8:22 remaining in regulation. Allen, who played only 19 minutes, picked up his fourth foul with 7:08 left in the game.

"That's part of the game," Greenberg said of the Hokies' foul trouble.

Virginia Tech got its only lead of the second half on a three-pointer by Delaney to make it 45-44 with 9:55 remaining. The jumper seemed to stun the standing-room crowd. Those inside Cameron Indoor Stadium seemed to brace for a game that looked like it would wind its way to a tense conclusion.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company