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Yellow Jackets Fall To No. 1 Duke, 95-63

Feb. 9, 2002

Box Score

By MITCH STACY
Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA (AP) – For the first 12 minutes Saturday, Georgia Tech looked as if it might be able to run with the No. 1 team in the country.

Then, Duke ripped off a 20-7 run to finish the first half.

It was lights out after that as the Blue Devils hit nearly three-quarters of their shots in the second half on the way to drubbing overmatched Tech 95-63.

The win was the 10th in a row for Duke (22-1, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) and marked the best start in school history. The Blue Devils bettered 21-1 starts in 1991-92 and 1998-99 in beating Georgia Tech (10-14, 3-8) for the second time this season.

Jason Williams scored 28 points and Mike Dunleavy added 23 for Duke. Both were deadly from the 3-point line, each hitting on 5-of-8 attempts.

“We had good flow,” said Williams, who was 8-for-12 from the field and hit all seven of his free-throw attempts. “We opened up a lot of shots and knocked them down.”

The Blue Devils led by 14 at the half, opened the lead to 20 in the first 3{ minutes of the second and went ahead by 32 when Williams hit a 3-pointer with 10:30 left.

Georgia Tech just couldn’t fight back after that, done in by Duke’s efficiency from beyond the arc and dominating defense. Williams and Dunleavy combined for six 3s in the second half.

“Our execution in the second half was incredible,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Everything that we asked them to do, they not only did it but they scored on it. We have good players, and if you put them in positions where they have a chance to get a good shot, then they are going to knock it down and make you look good.”

Ed Nelson led Georgia Tech with 17 points, while Tony Akins added 10.

The loss snaps Georgia Tech’s three-game winning streak, which followed seven straight conference losses.

“I guess people saw another reason why they’re No. 1,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. “They’re a great team and they played extremely well. I thought we played hard, but they deflated us.”

The Yellow Jackets came out tough and trailed 28-27 with 12 minutes gone, finishing off a 7-0 run.

Duke responded with a 13-2 run over the next five minutes and opened up the 48-34 halftime lead, getting two 3-pointers and another basket from Dunleavy and nearly perfect shooting from the free-throw line in that stretch.

“We never thought the outcome would be like that,” said Akins, who shot 3-for-11 from the field. “They played a good game, they moved the ball, they penetrated. They were hitting on all cylinders.”

Duke, playing for the second time in three days, shot 55.6 percent from the field, hitting 13 of 24 3-point attempts (54.2 percent). The Blue Devils also shot 75.9 percent from the line, including 13-of-16 in the first half.

“We handled it well this weekend,” Dunleavy said. “We stayed relaxed and loose.”

Georgia Tech shot 35.5 percent from the field, missing all five of its 3-point attempts in the second half.

Since losing at Florida State on Jan. 6, the Blue Devils have responded with 10 double-digit victories, including nine over ACC competition.

Duke has won 12 straight games over the Yellow Jackets, including the past five at Alexander Coliseum. The Devils won 104-79 on Jan. 10.

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