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Five observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against Georgia Tech

Jordan Goldwire made his presence felt in all areas of the box score in the first half Tuesday.
Jordan Goldwire made his presence felt in all areas of the box score in the first half Tuesday.

Duke is trying to stave off its first four-game losing streak since 2007, and will have to beat a surprisingly good Georgia Tech squad to do so. The Blue Devils hold the early lead, up 33-25 after the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Here are five observations from the first 20 minutes of play:

Man, Oh Man

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski chose to play his team in a zone for the previous three games, after three straight losses has reverted back to the typical Blue Devil man-to-man defense to open Tuesday’s contest against Georgia Tech. The strategy appears to be paying dividends, with the Yellow Jackets shooting just 32.3% from the floor through 20 minutes.

A hot start and cold finish

In each of Duke’s previous three games, the Blue Devils fell behind early and never quite caught up. But the team’s first game back at Cameron Indoor Stadium seemed to flip that typical early-game script. Duke started 5-for-7 from the field en route to an early lead, but finished the half shooting a meager 39.4% from the field.

Rule of no threes

Duke’s roster is not particularly adept from long range this season, and the team tried to play to its strengths in the first half Tuesday. The Blue Devils took just nine attempts from deep in the opening period, making just three of those 3-pointers.

Free sample, anyone?

Duke has also drawn very few attempts from the charity stripe—again, typical for this season. The Blue Devils went four-of-four from the free throw line in the first half. However, they also did a good job refraining from fouling the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech took just three free throws, making two, before the intermission.

Player of the half: Jordan Goldwire

Senior point guard Jordan Goldwire played a surprisingly efficient first half against Georgia Tech, scoring seven points, including one of Duke’s three 3-point baskets. He also grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists in the period.

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