Hood leads No. 6 Duke to win over Virginia Tech

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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DURHAM, N.C. — Duke found someone other than freshman sensation Jabari Parker to do some of the heavy lifting on offense.

Forward Rodney Hood scored 21 points and sixth-ranked Duke finally put away last-place Virginia Tech with a 66-48 victory on Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“Rodney has been our most consistent player,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He had that workmanlike performance.”

Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon scored 15 points as the Blue Devils capped a grueling stretch of the schedule with another victory. It was the team’s fifth game in 11 nights and Krzyzewski compared it to “getting that last little bit of toothpaste out of the (tube).”

Parker, a forward, had 11 points and 12 rebounds, but it was the first time in seven games that he didn’t lead or co-lead the Blue Devils (23-6, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) in scoring.

“We have a lot of weapons who can score,” Parker said.

Freshman forward Trevor Thompson had 15 points — matching his season high — for Virginia Tech (9-18, 2-13) by making 6-of-9 shots from the field. It was only the second time Thompson reached double figures against an ACC opponent.

Even though Duke shot 38.7 percent from the field (24-fo-62), the Blue Devils had enough sources of offense.

“It wasn’t just one guy, it was several guys who made the plays,” Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. “They just had guys who made the plays.”

Hood connected on a variety of mid-range jumpers to go with three 3-point baskets. He topped the Blue Devils in scoring for the first time in exactly a month — Jan. 25 vs. Florida State.

“I just take whatever the defense gives me,” he said. “That’s something I’m working on all of the time.”

Parker was 3-for-11 from the field, marking only the fourth time this season that he didn’t make at least four field goals. He was without a successful 3-pointer for the sixth time in eight games.

Duke held a 15-2 lead less than 4 1/2 minutes into the game. It was 24-4 slightly more than midway through the first half before Virginia Tech perked up.

“I thought our young guys were a little shell-shocked with the environment,” Johnson said. “Guys were able to kind of relax, settle down and kind of get back in the game.”

The Hokies scored seven of the first nine points of the second half to close within 34-27 and cause a Duke timeout at the 17:56 mark.

Suliamon hit two 3-pointers during the next three minutes as Duke built its lead to 42-29.

“We just had to stay consistent and keep the pressure on them,” Sulaimon said.

On defense, Sulaimon hounded Virginia Tech guard Devin Wilson, who made 3-of-12 shots from the field and was charged with six of the Hokies’ 15 turnovers.

“He’s big and he’s long and that affected Devin all night long in getting in our offense,” Johnson said of Sulaimon.

Virginia Tech went to the free-throw line only seven times, the lowest number for an opponent in this building this season.

“It was a good performance by our team, especially defensively,” Krzyzewski said. “We responded with some real good defense.”

Duke has won six of its last seven games, including Saturday night’s toppling of then-No. 1 Syracuse.

Duke’s homecourt winning streak increased to 32 games, marking the longest active streak in Division I.

Virginia Tech dropped to 0-5 against ranked teams this season. The Hokies have only won once in 2014.

Duke claimed a 32-20 halftime lead in the only meeting of the season between the teams.

It was not all bleak for Virginia Tech, which closed the half on a 16-8 run. Until then, it appeared the Hokies would be in danger of failing to reach their previous first-half low this season of 17 points.

Hood had 12 of Duke’s first-half points. The Blue Devils were aided by 10 first-half offensive rebounds and nine Virginia Tech turnovers.

The Hokies scored on three consecutive possessions to close within 24-12. That came during a stretch when Duke managed only two points in seven

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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