LIVE BLOG: Duke vs. Georgia Tech

Duke 84, Georgia Tech 61: 3:13 left in the second half: Our seats are about six feet from the incident that just happened. From what I could see, Scheyer was hounded by three Georgia Tech defenders, calls timeout, the referee motions that timeout has been called, then, as Scheyer is leaning away, Rice makes a move for the ball and shoves Scheyer on the court. Rice was T'd up, and a chorus of boos fell on him. Krzyzewski ran all the way across the court to check on Scheyer, then to quiet the crowd, which, frankly, was starting to get hostile. As Scheyer shoots his two free throws, I'll take this chance to say that this one is in the bag. Unless something huge happens, this is The Chronicle Sports Blog signing off. Be sure to check later for more news from this win over Georgia Tech.

Duke 74, Georgia Tech 55: 6:07 left in the second half: Many Duke fans tend to grow irate whenever the Blue Devils begin going in the slowdown offense around the seven minute mark of the game. I am normally one of those. However, there's nothing to complain about here-- Duke's getting quality looks, and Singler doesn't seem to have the ability to miss a 3-pointer (he's got 25 now).

In other news, Miles Plumlee got absolutely drilled by Lawal and an intentional foul was called. Plumlee has a long scratch on his shoulder, and the foul was so bad that Paul Hewitt said to Lawal as he went to the bench, "What the hell was that?" (or something like that).

Duke 68, Georgia Tech 51: 7:45 left in the second half: Derrick Favors hasn't missed a shot in the game yet. Then again, he's only shot it three times. The Blue Devils have done a great job of denying him the ball and bodying up on him, without fouling, when he does have it.

Barry Switzer and Keith Jackson are underneath the Duke basket, by the way. Not a Cowboys fan, or I would've noticed earlier. My b.

Duke 61, Georgia Tech 43: 11:52 left in the second half: Duke has really quietly pulled away from the Yellow Jackets in this one, thanks in large part to Singler having one of the better shooting days he's had all year. Singler is 5-for-10, all made field goals being 3's, for 19 points.

Also, I know that Favors will be a top ten pick in the draft this year, and he really is an amazing physical specimen, but he absolutely let Smith blow by him for an uncontested reverse layup. Can't get away with that next year, Favors.

Duke 53, Georgia Tech 41, 14:24 left in the second half: Coach K exhorted the Duke student section to get fired up, raising his arms and looking a lot like he did last year against Wake Forest at home. It worked: more noise apparently means more Yellow Jacket mistakes, as Udofia traveled just a few seconds later. Singler hit a 3-pointer after the Georgia Tech turnover and celebrated the entire run back to the defensive end.

It's worth noting that Zoubek has three fouls (what a shock) and Singler and Thomas both have two. And still no sign from Andre Dawkins, who has looked fairly peeved during his entire game spent on the bench. Jordan Davidson's getting more PT than him-- what's going on?

Duke 45, Georgia Tech 33, HALFTIME: Singler at the buzzer... good! A big finish to an otherwise underwhelming, foul-crazy, ref-dominated half.

Another big story of the last couple of minutes... People of the world: meet Mason Plumlee. The raw, but crazy athletic freshman, over the course of two possessions, made Sheehan pay for lax defense with a 3-pointer in the junior's grill, then threw down a big dunk that made Cameron louder than it's been all night. "That's what I'm talking about," yelled Plumlee as he walked back down the court.

Some stats: Duke shot 41.9% for the half, while Georgia Tech shot 46.2%, yet Duke leads by 12. How'd the Blue Devils do it? Duke has 27 rebounds, 12 offensive; Tech has 15. Total. Amazing work in the paint so far by Duke.

Duke 35, Georgia Tech 29, 3:06 left in the first half: I can with 93% certainty that Glenn Rice, Jr. has his father's touch from downtown. The freshman hit a 3-pointer about five feet from me-- never a doubt that it wasn't going in.

In other news, there's not much new about this game. More fouls (24 at my last count), and more inspired play in the paint from Lance "The Situation" Thomas and Zoubek, who are four and six, and three and five, respectively.

Duke 28, Georgia Tech 23, 7:07 left in the first half: I honestly just felt like I was watching the scene from Hoosiers, when Ollie comes into the game and sinks the two granny-style free throws-- only Ollie, in this case, is Jordan Davidson. The senior came in overmatched, played confidently and snatched a rebound at one point over Favors, Peacock and other trees in the paint.

Maybe he inspired Duke. While the game has not gotten any prettier-- the Crazies chanted "Let them play" after the 20th foul of the game at the 8-minute mark-- but the Blue Devils do seem to be playing better. Ryan Kelly's feeling it. The freshman hit a 3-pointer and has grabbed three boards, much to the delight of his family sitting behind the bench.

Duke 19, Georgia Tech 18, 11:53 left in the first half: Duke fans will be happy to see that Lance "The Situation" Thomas is really asserting himself down low in the early moments of this game. At the 14-minute mark, he executed an uncharacteristically smooth post move for an easy basket, then a couple of possessions later, drew a foul and calmly sank both his shots from the charity stripe. His momentum was slowed by a questionable charge call (which sent Cameron into a tizzy).

Back-to-back 3-pointers also characterized this series-- the first from Scheyer on the wing and, in a classic case of one good 3 deserves another, Iman Shumpert after a, shall we say, veteran, push-off and step back.

(Jordan Davidson is coming in the game, by the way.) (I know, Jordan Davidson!)

Duke 7, Georgia Tech 11, 15:28 left in first half: Dear God, this is a physical game. Nine fouls, plus Plumlee getting stuffed on a dunk attempt and constant bumping down low have characterized this first four minutes of the game. We may just see a free throw shooting contest tonight (sounds like a blast, huh?).

Gani Lawal was forced to leave the game after two fouls in the game's first 35 seconds. Subbing in for him was Zachery Peacock, who proceeded to score the Yellow Jackets' first 11, making jumpers, a 3-ball and vicious 2-handed slam in the process. Something tells me Paul Hewitt is going to keep him on the court a little longer.

PREGAME: Good evening, sports fans and welcome to The Chronicle Sports Blog, where I will be liveblogging tonight's festivities against the Yellow Swarm of the South-- the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. It's been a while since I've done this, four months in fact (damn, too long), but never the mind! I know what I'm doing, I promise!

When the Blue Devils last saw Georgia Tech it was in the midst of a thorough beat-down on the Yellow Jackets' home court. That was a confident, hot-shooting Duke team, though-- not one coming off an uggggly 12-point loss to Georgetown (the final score doesn't even come close to conveying how bad the Blue Devils played). Can the Blue Devils rebound from the loss? Will they shoot over 20%? Can they stop Georgia Tech's two dynamic freshman, Mfon Udonfia and Derrick Favors? Will I stop asking rhetorical questions? We shall see very shortly.

Starters for tonight are...

DUKE: Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer, Miles Plumlee, Lance Thomas, Kyle Singler

GEORGIA TECH: Gani Lawal, Derrick Favors, D'Andre Bell, Mfon Udofia, Iman Shumpert.


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