The No. 6 Duke Blue Devils were simply too much for Virginia Tech Thursday night, downing the Hokies 88-56.
“Duke was very good tonight, and we were not good at all on both ends of the floor,” said James Johnson, head coach. “(Duke) had a lot to do with it. Their pressure on the defensive end took us out of the game early and we dug ourselves a hole.”
Seth Curry, whose father Dell played for Tech from 1982-1986, scored 22 points to pace the Blue Devils.
“He had three threes in the first few minutes and then it was like he had 19 before I could find my seat," Johnson said.
The loss is the ninth straight for a Tech team that began the season 7-0.
Duke shot 12-of-17 from behind the arc to build a lead they never lost. The Blue Devils led for more than 37 minutes of the game.
Tech hit just one three in the game, which came in the second half from Erick Green.
The Hokies are still looking for answers in all areas of the game, with the lone bright spot being Green. His 22 points fall under his NCAA-leading 25 points per game.
“I couldn’t care less how many points I score, I can score the ball, I know that,” Green said. “I just want to win. It’s just so frustrating to come out here and play my butt off and it happens like this.”
Duke also got 17 points from Rasheed Sulaimon and 13 from Mason Plumlee. Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils will likely move up in the next national poll.
Johnson matched Green against Curry, but said Green couldn’t play hard for 40 minutes on both ends, citing his recent bout of hydration against Georgia Tech.
“He did a great job on him,” Johnson said. “He's one of the best defenders in this league. I just can't afford to have him play that hard on both ends; he'll end up with dehydration (again).”
The Hokies turn their attention to the ACC Tournament, the team’s lone shot to make the NCAA Tournament.
“That’s all we can look for now,” said Cadarian Raines. “We’re losing games, so we just have to look for the tournament to try and win a game.”
Green said the Hokies inability to defend Duke’s three-pointers came down to a lack of execution.
“Once again, not paying attention to the scouting report,” Green said. “We’re shooting through gaps on Curry instead of chasing Curry. We go over the same thing every single game, and it’s just so frustrating. It boils down to paying attention.”
Even after the seven straight losses and the 2-11 ACC record, Green maintains hope for the season and his teammates.
“I’m going to say there’s hope,” Green said. “I believe in this team. I’m sure a lot of people don’t, but I do. We’ve just got to get some guys on board. We have to stop making excuses. We’ve got to have a lot more guys step up.”
With five games remaining in the regular season, the Hokies will likely be underdogs in each game.
“It’s the same old song,” Johnson said. “We just have to have guys playing better. It is what it is.”
Green, a senior, did not want to go out like this in maroon and orange.
“This is not the way I wanted to end my senior year,” Green said. “It just sucks right now. It sucks.”
Johnson and the Hokies host the Florida State Seminoles Sunday at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.