Without a single game decided by fewer than 10 points, the No. 4 Blue Devils (15-0, 5-0 in the ACC) have yet to be challenged this season. The team enters its Wednesday night matchup against Virginia Tech (7-9, 1-4) as the last remaining unbeaten in Division I basketball—men’s or women’s—and has shown no signs of slowing down.
The Blue Devils host the Hokies in a 7 p.m. contest at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke is coming off a 73-44 win at Wake Forest, in which the Blue Devils took over in the second half, shooting 55.6 percent from the field and going on a 13-0 run to put the game out of reach. The team stepped up its play in the second half against Clemson last week, shooting 63.3 percent after another slow start. Duke has also been a nightmare for its opponents on the defensive end, forcing turnovers, grabbing rebounds and preventing second-chance points. Although the Blue Devils have continued to blow out opponents, head coach Joanne P. McCallie stressed that one half of solid play may not be enough against future opponents.
“We’re trying to grow, but we’re growing in halves right now,” McCallie said. “Hopefully we can start playing games and get the whole 40 minutes.”
After winning its ACC opener against Wake Forest Dec. 22, 2012, Virginia Tech has dropped four straight games in conference play.
Despite impressive performances from juniors Uju Ugoka and Monet Tellier, who average a combined 29.9 points and 13.5 rebounds per game on the season, the Hokies have struggled. Virginia Tech never led and shot just 27.9 percent from the field in its most recent defeat, a 74-45 rout on its home floor against No. 10 Maryland.
The Hokies’ visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium may look one-sided on paper, but the contest will prove important as both teams gear up for the back half of their schedules.
Even with a looming road matchup against No. 3 Connecticut next Monday, McCallie is focusing on one game at a time.
“We’re always getting ready for the next game, and it’s a long season,” McCallie said. “We have some very good leadership, some people getting well from injuries and a lot of growth potential… so no limits but a lot of work to do.”