It was great to see Tech leading Duke in the second half. The lead made it up to 7 points with 16 minutes left in the game before things started going very wrong. From that point on Duke dominated the game. They got a lot of points in transition and off sloppy backcourt turnovers. The Blue Devils also stopped turning the ball over themselves which had been an issue for them up to that point.
The first half was very similar to a lot of basketball we’ve seen from Tech this year. Both teams were unable to get much offense going when the defense had time to set up. Neither team shot well, but Duke was slightly better through most of the half. Then something switched for Tech and they went on a big run starting right before half. Offensively they were getting (and making) some very easy shots. On the other end they were frustrating the Blue Devils with an active zone that led to a lot of rushed threes and other poor shots.
This run continued into the second half as Tech started 3-3 from the field. Then things turned around very quickly. GT turned the ball over 6 times in the next three minutes and Duke made them pay on nearly every single one. Once Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett got going, they were getting their way inside (thanks in large part to Tech foul trouble. Duke didn’t really pull away until the final 8 minutes, but once Duke re-took the lead it felt like the game was over. Duke pulled away late for a comfortable win.
Georgia Tech was hurt greatly by foul trouble. James Banks and Abdoulaye Gueye were in foul trouble pretty much the entire game and both ended up fouling out. Banks ended up with only 4 points (although 2 of those came on a monster dunk over Zion) and 2 rebounds. He spent way too much of the game on the bench or struggling on defense because he was afraid to be physical. As the back piece of the zone he’s an incredibly important piece and him being hamstrung did not help. Gueye helped pick up some of the slack with 14 points on 7-16 shooting. He could have had several more points, but a bunch of his shots rimmed out. However, he also spent most of the game in foul trouble and he fouled out late.
Tech’s best player was probably Michael Devoe who ended up with 11 points and 4 steals (although he had 5 turnovers). Jose Alvarado didn’t score well, but he was still a stabilizing force for the team. Evan Cole played some good minutes off of the bench.
Duke’s offense was pretty much entirely Zion Williamson and RJ Barr-ett. Williamson had 22 points on 9-12 shooting and 7 rebounds while Barrett had points on 24 points on 8-16 shooting and 11 rebounds. Beyond them, nobody else scored more than 7 points. Duke as a team was awful shooting hitting just 2-21 from deep. Cam Reddish in particular struggled hitting just 1-8 from deep (1-11 total from the field).