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No. 20 Hokies topple No. 3 Duke 77-72

Third straight win over Duke in Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech toppled third-ranked Duke 77-72 for the Hokies third straight win over the Blue Devils in Blacksburg.

Both teams were missing stars due to injury. Duke was without forward Zion Williamson, who is out with a sprained knee. The Hokies continue to play without star point guard Justin Robinson, who remains sidelined with a foot injury.

Ty Outlaw sank a three-pointer with 1:28 to go that broke a 70-all tie, and Virginia Tech closed it from there.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. led Virginia Tech with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Ahmed Hill added 17 points and Nickeil-Alexander Walker added 13 points. Duke was led by freshman RJ Barrett's 21 points. Cam Reddish added 17 points. The Hokies held a 37-34 lead at halftime.

"They’re a paint dominant team and we knew coming into the game that keeping them out of the paint was going to be like on steroids, so we did a lot of time focusing on anytime somebody drives you got to keep them out of the paint, keep them out of the paint. And we’re going to live with them shooting 30 plus 3’s," Alexander-Walker said.

"That was the main scouting report, not letting him get into the paint because he’s deadly. He still played out of his mind. I think he did a gear job keeping them in the game. He could have easily won it for them if we didn’t make certain plays down the road but the whole game plan was to contain him," Hokies guard Ty Outlaw said.

"We just knew we had to get them out of their comfort zone and they’re not a big 3 point team they are capable of making them we just knew their strength is getting to the paint. They make about 68 percent of their shots when they get in the paint and that’s a big number so we knew we had to make sure they had to shoot threes and that is one shot only because they’re a good rebounding team," guard Wabissa Bede said.

20th-ranked Virginia Tech moves to 22-6, 11-5 in  ACC play. The eleven wins is a school record. Duke falls to 24-4, 12-3 in the conference. Virginia Tech travels to 18th-ranked Florida State next Tuesday. The Blue Devils host Miami on Saturday.