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Evan Marinofsky | NCAA.com | January 4, 2022

No. 2 Duke takes down Georgia Tech, 69-57, in ACC showdown

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Entering Tuesday night's matchup against Georgia Tech, it had been nearly two weeks since No. 2 Duke played a college basketball game. The Blue Devils didn't even hit the court for practice together until Monday. 

That long layoff showed at times, but the Blue Devils did more than enough to win Tuesday night, taking down the Yellow Jackets, 69-57. 

Freshman phenom Paolo Banchero led Duke in scoring with 17 points, including a team-high 12 in the first half. Center Mark Williams was also huge for Duke, posting a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. 

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While the layoff appeared to hurt the Blue Devils' shooting numbers — they were 37.3 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from beyond the arc — Williams came up big in one of the areas they had no issue beating Georgia Tech in rebounding. Duke outrebounded the Yellow Jackets, 55-37, dominating the glass at both ends of the court. 

Georgia Tech wasn't without its moments to take hold of the game. Guard Michael Devoe hit a three-pointer with a little more than five minutes to play in the first half to bring his squad to within one of Duke. But then the Blue Devils went on a 13-1 run to end the half to put themselves up 35-23 at halftime. 

A similar story took place late in the second half. 

The Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to six when Devoe hit a three-pointer with 4:09 to play in the game to make it 56-50. After Duke's Trevor Keels followed it up with a layup, Devoe brought the difference back to six once again on a layup of his own. Those were five of Devoe's 18 second-half points. He finished the night with a game-high 21 points. 

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But, once again, Duke held off the comeback to win by 12. 

The Blue Devils improve to 2-0 in conference play. Their next matchup is slated for Saturday against Miami. On the other side, Georgia Tech falls to 0-3 in ACC play with their next game scheduled for Saturday against Notre Dame. 

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