The Duke Blue Devils came out flat in the first half yet again, but behind senior Mason Plumlee, they dominated the second half to beat Georgia Tech, 73-57.
The Yellow Jackets led 28-27 at the half, as Duke made just nine first half field goals (27.3%). They were out-rebounded and just out-played. Their defense was lacking and they were not getting back. They also missed a lot of shots in the paint.
The second half was a different story.
The Duke defense came out in full force. They had six steals and blocked four shots. They forced eight turnovers (GT finished with 21). The Yellow Jackets only made ten second half shots.
The Blue Devils also started making some shots. They made 17-of-33 shots in the second half (51.5%).
Mason had just six points (2-of-12 shooting) at the half and eight rebounds, to go along with four turnovers. He finished with another double-double: 16 points and 13 rebounds. He committed just one second half turnover and made 5-of-8 shots.
Seth Curry, who sprained his ankle on Saturday, scored a game-high 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He made 6-of-7 three pointers. 16 of those points came in the second half.
Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon came off the bench for the first time in his career and finally got his shot back on track. He made 5-of-8 shots for 15 points. He also hauled in five rebounds.
GT is a young team and Chris Bolden led them in scoring with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
The Blue Devils have some time off, which is good for Curry, Mason (who needs some rest), and the injured Ryan Kelly. But it doesn’t get any easier. They travel to play a very solid Miami team next Wednesday night.