With 13 minutes to play in Tuesday’s Atlantic Coast Conference game against Duke, Georgia Tech was shooting the ball well and down just five points.
The rest of the night got away from the Yellow Jackets and a long losing streak in Durham continued.
Rodney Hood hit five 3-pointers in the second half and led five players in double figures as No. 16 Duke pulled away for a 79-57 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Marcus Georges-Hunt had converted a lay up with 13:21 left in the second half that got Tech (9-6, 0-2) to within 51-46. Later, Hunt assisted on a lay up by Daniel Miller and the Yellow Jackets trailed just 58-50, but the hosts took control from that point.
While Tech went four and a half minutes without a point, Hood nailed consecutive threes, part of an 8-0 run that made it 66-50 at the 6:32 mark. Miller had a jumper and Georges-Hunt knocked down a 3-pointer to keep Tech’s deficit at 66-55, but Hood, who paced all scorers with 27 points, was too much for Tech to handle in the second half. The redshirt-sophomore forward hit two more threes on feeds from Quinn Cook and the Blue Devils led 77-55 with two minutes left.
Tech, which lost its seventh consecutive game in Durham and sixth straight overall in the series, shot extremely well, making 26 of its 53 field goal attempts. Duke’s turnaround offensively was the difference as the Blue Devils made only 36 percent in the opening half, then turned that into 57 percent in the second half, including 7-of-12 from three-point range.
“They were just so good for so long,” Miller told ramblinwreck.com. “They were taking off, and we were coming back, but we just didn’t have it in us to finish.”
Jabari Parker’s second three-point play of the opening half helped Duke regain a 25-20 cushion with 6:47 remaining in the opening half. But Tech made 15-of-28 shots during the first 20 minutes and after a 3-pointer from Georges-Hunt, Miller’s dunk off a feed from Georges-Hunt, and a jumper from Quinton Stephens, the game was tied at 27-27 with four minutes until halftime.
In an extremely tight opening half the teams were tied seven times overall, the last even point coming when Miller got the final two of his eight first-half points on a jumper that made it 31-31 with 1:43 to play. Duke didn’t shoot the ball well from the field in the first half (9-of-25), instead choosing to get most of its points at the free throw line where the Blue Devils were 14-of-16, led by Hood, who made all six of his attempts, the final two coming with 30 seconds to play that put Duke up 34-31.
Chris Bolden’s jumper got Tech into the locker room down just 34-33.
Duke had a 10-2 run, which included 3-pointers from Rasheed Sulaimon and Andre Dawkins and Parker’s three-point play, that put the hosts up 12-6 five and a half minutes into the game.
Later, the Blue Devils again took a six-point lead at 18-12 before Georges-Hunt scored consecutive baskets to help tie it at 18-18.
Duke (12-3), which was coming off a loss to Notre Dame in the ACC opener, won its 25th consecutive game at home while avoiding its first 0-2 start in the ACC since 2006-2007.
Miller was the only other Tech player in double figures, contributing 14 points.