HALFTIME: Duke 33, Virginia Tech 27

BLACKSBURG, Va.—Facing its last true road game of the season, the No. 5 Blue Devils entered Virginia Tech territory looking for a strong win before taking on North Carolina.

And with Duke's primary shooting weapons Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. finding their stride, backed up with another strong defensive performance for the Blue Devils, Duke showcased a team hungry for the postseason and took an 33-27 lead into the locker room. Allen has led the way with 11 points.

With Virginia Tech up 11-10, a 3-pointer from Allen with 13:48 on the clock jumpstarted the Blue Devils' offense, sparking a 19-3 run to put Duke up 29-14.

Duke's offense then hit a dry spell with costly turnovers from Trent and Allen and went scoreless for more than six minutes. The Hokies kept the margin tight off of Justin Bibbs, Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker's efforts in the paint. Alexander-Walker jumpstarted Virginia Tech's offense with repeat fast-break layups, capitalizing on poor passes from Allen.

Just as quickly as Duke was looking to put the half away, the Hokies stormed back to put the game within four. With five minutes left to play, Virginia Tech trimmed the deficit to four points following an 11-0 run, but both offenses went quiet down the stretch.

Although freshman phenom Marvin Bagley III converted a dunk to try to build some momentum for the Blue Devils, Duke is coming off the court after hitting yet another offensive dead end.

Here are a few observations from the first half:

  • Jack White is becoming a regular presence for Duke. After experiencing limited minutes for much of the 2016-17 season, White entered the game early and played four minutes on the hardwood, banking in a 3-pointer.
  • The Blue Devils played a bit sloppy down the stretch in the half. Duke totaled seven turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play, allowing Virginia Tech to notch three steals, two of which are off Allen.
  • Duke controlled the glass despite some shooting inconsistencies, leading the Hokies with 21 rebounds to 16.
  • The Blue Devils are struggling with some foul trouble, with Bagley, Wendell Carter Jr., Javin DeLaurier and Trevon Duval each picking up two fouls.

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