Duke's Curry enjoys a big night at dad's school
Guard scores 22 points in 88-56 rout of Hokies
With his mom and dad in attendance Thursday night at Virginia Tech, the Duke guard made sure he went out on a high note in his last game at Cassell Coliseum.
Curry scored 22 points, leading No. 6 Duke to a 88-56 rout of the slumping Hokies.
The Blue Devils senior scored 19 points in the first half, helping the Blue Devils build a 20-point halftime lead in their first game since a two-point loss at Maryland last Saturday. His father Dell, who ranks No. 2 on the Hokies' all-time scoring list, and his mother Sonya, a former Virginia Tech volleyball player, sat two rows up from the Duke bench.
In Curry's first two games at Cassell, he finished with a combined 11 points on 2-of-9 shooting. As a sophomore, he played just 15 minutes without scoring before fouling out.
"It means a lot," Curry said. "You don't want to walk out of any arena, especially one where my father played, having three bad games. So I wanted to come in here and play well."
The Hokies (11-15, 2-11 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost their ninth straight game, continuing their longest losing streak since they dropped 10 in a row in the 2001-02 season.
"Duke was very good tonight, and we were not very good at all, at both ends of the floor," Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. "They had a lot to do with it. Their pressure on the defensive end took us out of our execution early, and we dug ourselves a hole. Coming off a loss, we knew they'd be ready to play and try to hit us with the first punch. We didn't respond."
Curry knocked down five 3-pointers, all in the first half, and finished one 3-pointer shy of his season high, set in a win over Georgia Tech.
He hit the last one with 1:03 left in the half. Virginia Tech's Jarell Eddie blocked Curry's drive attempt, but Curry grabbed the offensive rebound before stepping back and nailing the 3-pointer. Afterward, Curry drew a technical foul for turning around and chirping at Eddie.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he told Curry at halftime to apologize to the officials for his outburst.
The Blue Devils (23-3, 10-3) expanded their lead to 31 points early in the second half and pushed the margin to 33 with 2:32 remaining.
Erick Green, the nation's leading scorer, scored 22 points to lead the Hokies. C.J. Barksdale added a career-high 14 points.
"We just looked so dead out there," Green said. "We were out there getting our butts whooped. It wasn't even fun. ... We've got to find it in ourselves. We've got to find confidence. We've got to keep going. We say it over and over again, guys have got to step up. By now, guys should know how to step up. Guys should know how to play this game. By now, if you don't get it, you just don't get it."
Rasheed Sulaimon finished with 17 points for the Blue Devils, who went 12-for-17 from 3-point range as a team. Mason Plumlee added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Josh Hairston scored 11 points.
The Hokies scored the game's first four points before the Blue Devils heated up. Curry knocked down two 3-pointers to jump-start an 11-0 Blue Devils run.
Green snapped a drought of more than four minutes with a transition layup, cutting Duke's lead to 11-6. Curry answered almost immediately with another 3. Duke took its first double-digit lead with 9:04 left in the half when Tyler Thornton drained a 3-pointer to put the Blue Devils up 22-12.
Duke extended its lead to 30-15 with 6:42 left when Plumlee slipped past Cadarian Raines on the baseline for a nifty up-and-under basket. Curry nailed another 3-pointer with 4:08 left in the half, pushing the Blue Devils' lead to 20. Duke rode 60 percent shooting from the field to a 48-28 halftime lead.
"Coach called the first few plays for me," Curry said. "I was able to get some good looks, and they went down."
NOTES: Duke has not lost back-to-back regular season games since the 2008-09 season. ... The Hokies' last win against a top-10 team came in February 2011, when they beat No. 1 Duke at Cassell Coliseum. ... Plumlee is one rebound shy of 1,000 for his career. ... Green was averaging 26.3 points in conference games entering Thursday, the highest total for an ACC player in conference games since Duke's J.J. Redick averaged 29.3 in 2005-06. ... Krzyzewski said he's confident injured forward Ryan Kelly, who has missed the past 11 games with a foot injury, will return at some point this season. Kelly was in a walking boot Thursday but did not have crutches. He's been doing some light cardiovascular work in the pool and has been able to shoot free throws but has not done any live basketball work.
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