0

Duke pulls away to beat Tech

ATLANTA - Georgia Tech got a glimpse into its basketball future Tuesday night when South Atlanta High School star Derrick Favors took his seat at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in the second half of the Yellow Jackets' game with Duke.

The future may be bright for the Jackets, especially after Favors had given a verbal commitment to Tech just hours earlier. But the present wasn't as good to them thanks to Duke's stifling defense.

The second-ranked Blue Devils held Tech to just 41.2 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers to overcome an inspired start by the Jackets and pull away in the second half for a 70-56 win before a crowd of 9,035.

Tech (9-7), which dropped to 0-3 in the ACC, actually led much of the first half, and trailed just 31-28 at intermission.

But after the Jackets pulled to within 35-33 on Lance Storrs' 3-pointer with 15:38 to play, they managed just one field goal by Zachery Peacock - who led Tech with 13 points - and a free throw each from Peacock and Gani Lawal over the next 5:01.

The three turnovers, three missed field goals and three missed free throws in that span, combined with Duke (15-1, 3-0) beginning to heat up, dug a hole Tech could not climb out of as the Blue Devils built a 44-35 lead after Brian Zoubek's layup with 10:53 to play.

"The second half, we just (weren't) as patient as we needed to be to get the ball inside, and obviously they (Duke) are a very good team," Tech coach Paul Hewitt said.

Still, Tech stayed within single digits, pulling as close as 46-41 after Lewis Clinch's 3-pointer with 8:20 remaining.

But Jon Scheyer connected on six of his 14 points over a 3:01 as Duke went on a 10-3 run that pushed the lead into double digits for good at 57-44 with 4:50 left.

Of bigger impact, according to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, was his team's defensive effort, which forced Tech into three straight turnovers and a missed layup in the decisive stretch.

"I thought our defense helped win the game for us," Krzyzewski said. "We played very well defensively in the second half. ... Our post defense was a lot better in the second half. ... And in the second half, our offense had a little more movement."

That movement was seen by improving their shooting by 14.5 percent in the second half, including hitting 5 of 10 shots from 3-point range, including two each by Gerald Henderson and Kyle Zingler, who each scored 19 to lead Duke.

The Blue Devils were also able to put the clamps on former Norcross star Lawal, who managed just eight shots from the floor, and hit just 2 of 8 free throws on the night to finish with six points.