Feb. 20, 2010

ATLANTA - Jasmine Thomas and the Duke Blue Devils needed a little time to get up to full speed against Georgia Tech.

Jasmine Thomas scored 20 points and No. 8 Duke took charge in the second half to beat No. 19 Georgia Tech for the 30th straight time, 64-50 on Friday night.

The Yellow Jackets haven't beaten Duke since a 61-56 home victory Feb. 27, 1994.

"We've got to figure out how to beat Top 10 teams." Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said.

Duke (22-4, 10-1 ACC) led by 10 points midway through the first half and by eight early in the second, but the Blue Devils couldn't take the lead for good until a 14-2 run gave them a 51-40 advantage with just over 5 minutes remaining.

"We came out in the second half playing our kind of basketball," said Thomas, a junior guard who is one point shy of 1,000 for her career. "It's a battle whenever we play (Georgia Tech), but we've been able to do whatever it takes to win."

Duke got a lift off the bench as Krystal Thomas scored eight of her 10 second-half points during the decisive stretch. Karima Christmas, another reserve, also had 10 points for the Blue Devils.

Deja Foster had 15 points for Georgia Tech (20-7, 6-5) and Brigitte Ardossi added 14, going 4-for-16 from the floor. The Yellow Jackets shot 34.0 percent and had 27 turnovers. Second-leading scorer Alex Montgomery made just one of eight shots.

"It was a great defensive battle," said Duke coach Joanne McCallie, whose team leads the ACC in most defensive categories.

Duke led 15-5 midway in the first half as Georgia Tech missed 17 of its first 19 shots. But the Yellow Jackets then went on a 13-0 run over a seven-minute stretch and led 21-20 at halftime.

"The stats were ugly in the first half," McCallie said.

The Blue Devils, which had not trailed at intermission previously in an ACC game, shot 30.8 percent in the first half and committed 12 turnovers, while Georgia Tech made 25.0 percent of its shots and lost the ball 10 times.

Duke shot 54.8 percent in the second half to finish at 43.9 percent and ended up with 22 turnovers.

"We were more focused in the second half," McCallie said. "Jaz's leadership was outstanding."

The Blue Devils, who lead No. 10 Florida State by a game in the ACC standings, host Maryland on Sunday. Georgia Tech, which lost to FSU on Monday, plays at Miami.

"We did about as good a job as you can do defensively in the first half," Joseph said. "I was very disappointed with our effort in the second half."