The No. 5 Duke Blue Devils took care of business Sunday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium against their Atlantic Coast Confernce rivals from Atlanta, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, by a 79-57 score. With the four ranked teams ahead of them all losing once this week, the Blue Devils might be in line to become the No. 1 ranked team in the nation again.
Duke (25-2, 12-1) lost the No. 1 ranking in mid-January after falling to Florida State on the road. However, No. 1 Kansas was routed by unranked Kansas State on the road Monday, No. 2 Ohio State was upended by No. 11 Purdue in West Lafayette Sunday, No. 3 Texas was toppled by unranked Nebraska on the road Saturday, and No. 4 Pittsburgh was tripped up by St. John’s on a controversial ending Saturday in New York.
G Nolan Smith continues to do his thing for coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team, pouring in 28 points to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot in 29 minutes. F Kyle Singler had another off shooting night, going 5 of 14 from the field, but he checked in with 15 points to go along with nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Overall, Duke shot 45.2 percent (28 for 72) from the floor, slightly lower than their sluggish performance from the floor at Virginia Wednesday.
Duke has now won 34 consecutive home games, which is the longest active streak in college hoops. With their 25th victory of the season, Duke has now won 25 games in 24 seasons, including a whopping 20 years under the stewardship of Coack K.
“I was pleased with our performance (Sunday). Georgia Tech is always a difficult game, especially with [Iman] Shumpert and [Glen] Rice,” Krzyzewski told The Associated Press. “I thought we played really well defensively.”
For Georgia Tech (11-14, 3-8), the aforementioned G Iman Shumpert struggled with his shot, missing 12 of 16 attempts from the field. He ended up with 13 points, six rebounds and two assists. G Glen Rice was also inefficient, hitting just 4 of 14 from the floor to end up with 12 points. G Maurice Miller added 12 points in the loss.
Singler has now been a part of 118 wins at Duke, ranking fourth on the team’s all-time list. He also became the 21st player in ACC history to pick up 1,000 points or more in regular season ACC play. Singler also passed former Wake Forest standout Randolph Childress (2,221) in career points among ACC players.
The Blue Devils step out of conference Wednesday night when they play host to the No. 23 Temple Owls from the Atlantic 10 Conference. Their next conference battle is set for Saturday in Blacksburg, Va. against the Virginia Tech Hokies. For Georgia Tech, they’ll host Virginia at home Wednesday before a trip to Raleigh Saturday to meet North Carolina State, two games with little or no postseason consequences for either side.