by Eric Tullis
CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM—It started snowing in Durham just minutes before No. 3 Duke (16-1, 3-1) and Georgia Tech (10-6, 0-4) squared-off against each other; and for the majority of the first half it might as well have been snowing inside—on Duke’s basket: The frozen Blue Devils started out cold, on a 27.3 percent shooting bust.
Following last week’s tough loss to N.C. State, and a five-day rest, the Blue Devils were expected to command every minute on the floor against the Yellow Jackets, who are ranked last in the ACC. But, it wouldn’t happen until the second half, when it got a little calmer outside and started raining—which is when Duke starting raining down shots on the Yellow Jackets and eventually flooded them out of the contest, 73-57.
Most importantly, Rasheed Sulaimon awoke from his five-game slump and started knocking down shots again, scoring 15 points on 5-8 shooting, which is right on par with the kind of basketball he consistently played before the holidays.
Seth Curry’s game-high 24 points came with 6-7 shooting from behind the arc, and even though Mason Plumlee couldn’t knock down as many hook shots as he would have liked to in the first half (2-12 shooting), a “talk” between him and Coach K during halftime helped him switch gears. Later in the game, after a play where Plumlee fought his way through the paint for a tough bucket, an emotional Coach K ran on the court and bear-hugged Plumlee.
Next the Blue Devils face the conference’s top team, Miami, in another tough road test on Jan. 23. For now, click here for the complete Duke/Ga. Tech box score.