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.
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.
Virginia Tech hosts Wake Forest on Wednesday.
Duke travels to Clemson on Wednesday.