DURHAM, N.C. -- Defeating Duke in Atlanta is one thing. Defeating Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium is something Georgia Tech has managed only a handful of times in the past 55 years.
There's a reason.
From the first minute Thursday night, after Gani Lawal picked up two fouls, to the last minute when "Cameron Crazies" chanted "Our House," the game belonged to Duke. The No. 10 Blue Devils rode that emotional energy to avenge a Jan. 9 loss at Tech with an 86-67 win.
Duke (18-4, 6-2 in ACC) moved 13-0 at home this season, while No. 21 Tech (16-6, 4-4) fell to 4-30 at Cameron with its worst defeat of the season.
"I was very disappointed in our effort," Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "They outplayed us in every way. I thought we were prepared. Obviously I didn't do a good job preparing us. They kept coming off those screens, and they were wide open. Kyle Singler made us pay big-time."
After shooting 2-for-13 for nine points in Atlanta, Singler poured in a career-high 30 points Thursday, including a career-high eight 3-pointers in only 10 attempts.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterward that with three practices to prepare after Duke's loss to Georgetown on Saturday, he installed more of a motion offense to get a struggling Singler better looks.
"The motion was something we thought would be really good to get Kyle moving better," Krzyzewski said. "And he responded."
Tech, meanwhile, didn't look like it made much of its three days of practice.
"We prepared three days, and in my opinion we made this thing way too complex," said Lawal, who had 21 points against Duke on Jan. 9 but only nine in 16 minutes Thursday. "Coming in we just needed to keep it simple as a team, keep them off the board, get them out of what they want to run offensively, take our time. We didn't do that. We got rattled by the crowd. We gave up big momentum plays."
Tech got rattled after Lawal picked up two fouls in the first 33 seconds. It wasn't long before Derrick Favors joined him on the bench, picking up three fouls in 4-1/2 minutes midway through the first half, including his second and third only 28 seconds apart.
Forward Zachery Peacock did his best to hold things down in the paint, scoring the Yellow Jackets' first 11 points, but he wouldn't score again.
Tech's second-leading scorer was Glen Rice Jr. with 10 points, but his technical foul with three minutes left might have been his most memorable play of the night. He showed some of the frustration his whole team must have felt when he bumped Jon Scheyer to the ground in a half-court trap.
Tech's inside game had been rendered useless for long stretches -- Lawal and Favors combined for five fouls, three points, and four rebounds in 12 minutes in the first half. But what upset Hewitt the most was when Tech didn't help matters by missing the front end of two one-and-ones and made only 6 of 14 free throws in the first half and 16 of 28 for the game.
"We didn't defend the way we were supposed to defend, and we didn't shoot the ball well from the foul line," said Hewitt, who saw opportunities to draw fouls in the second half wasted as Duke's lead grew from 12 at halftime to as many as 25 in the second half. "Instead of attacking the basket in transition after steals, we'd pull up for jump shots instead of trying to get to the foul line, stopping the clock. We just didn't some things that weren't real intelligent."
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.