Duke basketball escapes Georgia Tech as controversy builds late

Duke basketball forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Another victory was secured from the Duke basketball team after a two-week pause. 

Rust was expected from the Duke basketball team after being away from the court for 12 days, but the No. 2 Blue Devils (12-1, 2-0 ACC) did what good teams are supposed to do — win.

Duke topped Georgia Tech (6-7, 0-3 ACC) in a relatively empty Cameron Indoor Stadium, 69-57, in an ugly game between the two teams.

It was the first game for the Blue Devils since December 22, a victory over Virginia Tech, and the program had two games postponed due to its COVID outbreak.

However, Mike Krzyzewski had all of his key players at his disposal on Tuesday night, and it was the freshman phenom Paolo Banchero who led the way for Duke with 17 points, 11 points, four assists, two steals, and three blocks.

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Wendell Moore struggled for the first time this season with just eight points on 2-of-11 shooting from the floor.

The Devils led by 12 points at halftime, and that would be enough to withstand a late run by Georgia Tech, who cut its deficit to as little as six points with just over three minutes remaining.

AJ Griffin helped put the game away with a monster dunk and at the free throw line, despite the team struggling from the free throw line during the game.

Griffin added 12 points and six rebounds off the bench in 23 minutes.

Duke basketball wins despite late-game controversy

As Georgia Tech was in the midst of its run late in the second half, Mike Krzyzewski called timeout to settle things down. And Michael Devoe, Georgia Tech’s best player and leading scorer on the night, didn’t take too kindly to the timeout from the Blue Devils.

Devoe appeared to be talking trash to Krzyzewski as he went to the Yellow Jackets bench, and Krzyzewski went right back at the senior guard.

The two seemed to share a brief moment after the game to talk about whatever happened during the second half. Then Krzyzewski and Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner also talked at length in the makeshift handshake line about the incident.

Pastner said after the game that he would talk to Michael Devoe about the incident but said that he and his players have the utmost respect for Mike Krzyzewski — both on and off the floor.

The Blue Devils do not play Georgia Tech again in the regular season, but Duke will be back in action on Sunday in Cameron Indoor Stadium as the surprising and surging Miami Hurricanes (11-3, 3-0 ACC) will look to spring the upset.

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