Duke woke up Friday morning having lost three straight games inside Cassell Coliseum. Combine that with the fact that Virginia Tech was good enough to beat preseason No. 1 Michigan State just last week, and it was reasonable to assume Friday night’s road game with the Hokies could be tricky.
And it was for a while.
Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils trailed by 12 points in the first, and by seven with less than 19 minutes to play. But they ultimately rallied for a 77-63 win while outscoring the Hokies 39-18 in the final 18:48.
“We played an outstanding 18 minutes in the second half,” Krzyzewski said.
It should be noted that Duke freshman Cassius Stanley, who was initially expected to be sidelined until after Christmas because of a hamstring injury suffered last week, was in Friday’s starting lineup. He missed both shots he took and only played seven minutes. But his presence was still a positive, relatively speaking. Tre Jones led the Blue Devils with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. And Virginia Tech, if you’re keeping track, has now lost three straight games by double-digits — to Dayton, BYU and Duke — since upsetting Michigan State.
Duke remains No. 9 in Saturday’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Louisville, which beat Pitt 64-46 late Friday, is No. 1 for the 11th consecutive morning. The Cardinals will carry that ranking into Tuesday’s game with Texas Tech in the Jimmy V Classic inside New York’s Madison Square Garden.