ATLANTA— The ACC opener for the Blue Devils, who were preseason favorites, turned out to be a disheartening start, resulting in a loss on the road against Georgia Tech. In a shocking turn of events, the Yellow Jacket fans stormed the court to celebrate the victory, while Duke trudged wearily to the locker room.
The seventh-ranked Blue Devils, who played without starting point guard Tyrese Proctor for most of the game, struggled and were in disarray, continuing their shooting woes in the 72-68 loss to the Yellow Jackets. Despite senior guard Jeremy Roach’s 20-point performance, the team only managed to shoot 26-for-62 from the field.
“We have to do a better job starting with the game. We didn’t start off well, so the entire day we’re fighting and clawing our way back,” head coach Jon Scheyer said after the game. “This is for our team — we have a week of practice — we’ve gotta stick together, we’ve gotta get together even closer.”
While trailing for most of the game, Duke (5-3, 0-1 in the ACC) still had a chance to tie or take the lead with 18.2 seconds left. But a late-game struggle ultimately caused them to fall short, resulting in a loss.
Fast forward to the final minute, the Blue Devils had an opportunity to regain the lead. However, a series of turnovers, missed shots, and lack of defensive stops contributed to their downfall.
One of Duke’s missed opportunities was when sophomore forward Mark Mitchell lost the ball, giving the Yellow Jackets the chance to extend their lead with an alley-oop to freshman forward Baye Ndongo.
Despite the back-and-forth momentum, Duke’s efforts fell short, ultimately resulting in a loss.
The game ended with a series of missed opportunities for Duke to overtake Georgia Tech despite a valiant effort to narrow the point gap.
Duke, who struggled with a poor shooting percentage and turnovers in the first half, faced an uphill battle against Georgia Tech. Despite a strong defensive showing, the Blue Devils couldn’t overcome the Yellow Jackets, ultimately succumbing to a 72-68 defeat.
Look out for Duke’s return to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 9 as they welcome Charlotte, followed by several nonconference games before facing off with Syracuse on Jan. 2.
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| Assistant Blue Zone editor
Dom Fenoglio is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle’s 119th volume.
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