After more than two weeks of playing away from home, the Duke Blue Devils (19-3, 6-3 ACC) were finally able to return to the friendly as well as crazy confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. As always, the Cameron Crazies came out in groves to support their team — the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-12, 1-9 ACC) would be on the menu Wednesday night.
Duke slipped past Georgia Tech with a 72-66 victory, giving Coach K extraordinary win number 1,002. Secondarily, the win gave Coach K the most in the ACC all-time, surpassing legendary North Carolina Tar Heels head coach, Dean Smith.
For the Yellow Jackets, they went into the night losing seven games in the ACC by a combined total of 26 points. Nothing changed on Wednesday in Durham, as Georgia Tech lost by six points — the Jackets have now lost 10 games this season by seven points or less. Their last game versus NC State was lost in heartbreaking fashion on a 25 foot jump shot at the buzzer.
Georgia Tech was led by junior guard Chris Bolden with 16 points, knocking down 4-6 from beyond the arc. The Yellow Jackets also got a very good performance from junior forward Marcus Georges-Hunt, tallying 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. A wide open corner 3-pointer from Georges-Hunt with 07:55 remaining in the game cut the Blue Devils lead to 57-56. The loss by Georgia Tech was certainly not due to a lack of effort.
As for Duke, senior guard Quinn Cook scored a game-high 17 points, all of which were compiled in the second half. Freshman forward Justise Winslow provided an all around game for the Blue Devils with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block. Winslow’s crafty athleticism, great motor and play in transition were the difference for Duke on Wednesday night. His fellow freshman phenom, Jahlil Okafor, chipped in with 14 points on the evening.
The Yellow Jackets and Blue Devils will both host games on Saturday, February 7th. Duke will seek revenge against a 21-3 Notre Dame squad, losing to the Fighting Irish on January 28th (77-73) in South Bend. As for Georgia Tech, they will try to get off the schneid in Atlanta versus a subpar Wake Forest team.
*Section Photo credit to Streeter Lecka, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Mark Dolejs, USA Today Sports.