Duke basketball shows potency in revenge victory against Virginia Tech

Duke basketball guards Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guards Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team showed its firepower against Virginia Tech. 

There has been no debating the firepower on the Duke basketball roster and it was on display inside Cameron Indoor Stadium against Virginia Tech on Saturday night.

Each starter for the Blue Devils scored at least 12 points in the 81-65 dominant victory with junior captain Jeremy Roach leading the way with 19 points, five rebounds, and 10 assists.

Duke (21-8, 12-6 ACC) opened the game on a 10-3 run and never looked back as Jon Scheyer’s team continues its push to receive a double-bye in the ACC Tournament next week.

Currently, the Blue Devils hold the No. 5 seed in the conference and various tiebreakers could not fall in favor of the five-time National Champions because of losses in head-to-head matchups with other teams.

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Regardless, Duke enacted revenge on the Hokies after its 78-75 victory in Blacksburg nearly a month ago in late January while the recent strong play of Mark Mitchell continued with 17 points and eight rebounds on 6-of-8 shooting.

Mitchell has been playing with a new sense of confidence in his role on the team despite the return of Dariq Whitehead from injury.

Dereck Lively dominated the paint with a perfect 6-for-6 shooting with 13 points, seven rebounds,  and three blocks as Tyrese Proctor continued to be an outstanding facilitator of the offense with 10 points, four rebounds, and five assists.

Kyle Filipowski was quiet with just 12 points and three rebounds as six of his points came at the free throw line but the Blue Devils didn’t need its star freshman to shoulder the load on this night.

Duke basketball bench provides little help in victory

The only negative coming from the victory against Virginia Tech (16-13, 6-12 ACC) was how ineffective the Duke bench was on Saturday night.

More players logged minutes in the final stages of the second half but the three main bench players; Dariq Whitehead, Jacob Grandison, and Ryan Young did not have their best collective performances.

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The trio combined for just 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting but the poor showing is hopefully an aberration as each player has been performing at a high level over the last two weeks.

Duke will play its final game of the season inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday night (7:00p.m. ET, ESPN) against North Carolina State (22-8, 12-7 ACC), another team that defeated the Blue Devils on the road earlier in the season.

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