No. 14 Duke beats Virginia Tech 82-58 for 3-0 ACC start

Associated Press
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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Marshall Plumlee scored a career-high 21 points and No. 14 Duke burst out of the gate with an outside-shooting flurry to beat Virginia Tech 82-58 on Saturday.

Freshman Brandon Ingram added 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocks for the Blue Devils (14-2, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who hit their first four 3-pointers and had seven in the opening seven minutes. That was part of a strong start in which the Blue Devils were on the attack and the Hokies (10-6, 2-1) looked a bit tentative and unsure.

That mix allowed the Blue Devils to quickly turn this one into a rout, rolling to a 12-2 lead on the way to a 27-point halftime margin.

Duke cooled off from outside but still finished the game shooting 47 percent. The Blue Devils also used their length to finish with eight blocked shots and a 42-33 rebounding advantage.

Plumlee, a 7-foot graduate student, gave Duke another welcome show of production that was far more than being solely an interior defender or rebounder.

Three days after setting a career high with 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting at Wake Forest, Plumlee finished 6 for 7 from the field and made 9 of 10 free throws – not bad for a guy who came in shooting 56 percent at the line – to go with 10 rebounds and two blocks.

The Hokies entered Cameron Indoor Stadium with only their second 2-0 start in ACC play, first by rallying from 16 down to beat North Carolina State in overtime, then by upsetting No. 4 Virginia at home on Monday night. But Duke squashed any hope of another upset, starting when Ingram knocked down 3-pointers – both wide open – from the left wing on Duke’s first two possessions.

Duke didn’t manage its first basket inside the arc until Plumlee’s dunk off an offensive rebound at the 9:31 mark.

Zach LeDay had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Virginia Tech, which finished the game shooting 38 percent – a total that got a boost long after the outcome was decided.

TIP-INS

Virginia Tech: The Hokies shot 28 percent (8 for 29) in the opening half. … They missed their first 11 3s and didn’t hit one until the 4:11 mark of the game, finishing 1 for 12. … No. 2 scorer Seth Allen came in averaging 14.5 points but finished with three on 1-for-9 shooting.

Duke: Grayson Allen also scored 16. … Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera attended and drew hearty cheers when introduced during a timeout for his visit on a “well-deserved day off.” His team went 15-1 to earn a bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. … Duke held a moment of silence in honor of late former coach Bill Foster, who died this week.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech hosts Wake Forest on Wednesday.

Duke travels to Clemson on Wednesday.

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP’s college basketball site at http://collegebasketball.ap.org