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Duke Takes #14 Virginia Tech Apart, 63-46

What a tremendous night by the Blue Devils

South Carolina v Duke
 DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 3: Reigan Richardson #24 and Jadyn Donovan #4 of the Duke Blue Devils, shown here against South Carolina, helped Duke upset Virginia Tech in Cameron Thursday night.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Duke has had an up-and-down season, giving Stanford a really tough game before losing 82-79 in overtime, giving South Carolina a solid game before yielding late 77-61 and getting clobbered at Clemson and Louisville.

You can see the pieces Kara Lawson is trying to fit together though and they had won two games in a row coming into Thursday night’s game with #14 Virginia Tech. And for a while it looked like it might be a tough night too.

Only it wasn’t.

The Blue Devils started slow but the defense eventually was stifling. The Hokies went up 18-7 in the first quarter before Duke took over. The Blue Devils outscored Virginia Tech in the second quarter 14-8, 27-8 in the third and 15-12 in the fourth.

The final score was 63-46 and while some people might have thought Duke was going to win, who saw the Devils winning by 17?

Elizabeth Kitley was great as usual, hitting 18 points and grabbing 10 boards. She shot 9-18 but the rest of the team hit just eight shots.

Eight!

That’s tremendous defense.

Duke got 10 steals and racked up 20 turnovers and converted those into 19 points. Reigan Richardson hit for 22 and Ashlon Jackson had 13.

Coach Lawson was impressed: “It was a good win for us. I thought our defense, in the middle half of the game, that second quarter, that third quarter, to hold them to single-digit points was a good performance by us. They’re obviously an explosive offensive team. Also, in that third quarter, the offense started clicking and we were able to create separation. For our team, we played close in games like this, and last week, we hadn’t been able to figure out how to win a big game yet and we have a young team. We’re playing freshmen for more minutes than anyone in the ACC and the growth is coming...I’m excited for the team to be able to get one of these wins.”

Arguably, this is the biggest win of the season for Duke and definitely something to build on.