No. 20 Hokies ride hot start to win over No. 19 Duke

Chase for the Championship

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – JANUARY 06: Keve Aluma #22 of the Virginia Tech Hokies shoots the ball against the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM! Center on January 06, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WNCN) – No. 20 Virginia Tech never conceded its early lead in a 74-67 win over No. 19 Duke.

Hunter Cattoor’s layup punctuated an early flurry by the Hokies that produced an 11-2 lead less than four minutes into the game. Duke trimmed its early deficit to five only for Virginia Tech to go on a 14-2 surge to take a 31-14 lead with 8:37 to go in the first half.

Matthew Hurt knocked down a 3-pointer with just seconds left before halftime, but the Blue Devils still went into the break facing a 46-34 deficit.

Early in the second half, Hurt nailed a 3 and followed it up with a jumper shortly after to help Duke pull within a shot, 54-52, with 13:13 left in the period. The hosts again answered — this time on the back of Keve Aluma, who scored 11 points in seven minutes to give Virginia Tech a 68-59 lead with 6:13 left.

Justyn Mutts’ dunk with just over a minute left made sure the Hokies kept the Blue Devils at arm’s reach.

Tyrece Radford led the Hokies with a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds). Aluma had 17 points and Jalen Cone added 14 off the bench.

The loss is Duke’s third on the season and first in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Jeremy Roach, Hurt, and DJ Steward combined for 58 of Duke’s points in the loss. Hurt had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Duke is off for a week before heading to Pitt on Jan. 19. Virginia Tech will travel to Wake Forest Sunday.

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