Turnovers cost Tech in loss to Duke

Georgia Tech came back from deficits of 10 and eight points but finally found a lead it couldn't erase in the final few minutes, as No.8 Duke prevailed 64-50 on Friday night.

It was the Blue Devils' 30th consecutive victory over the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech's last win over Duke came on Feb. 27, 1994, in Atlanta. After starting 11-0 at home this season, the Jackets have lost their past two home games.

No. 19 Georgia Tech had a 38-37 lead with 10:06 left when Duke (22-4, 10-1 ACC) took over the game, getting some transition baskets off Yellow Jackets turnovers.

The Blue Devils defense was key in sparking their offense, which then went on a 17-4 run to gave Duke a lead it wouldn't lose.

Georgia Tech (20-7, 6-5) had been resilient up to that point, continuing to take the Blue Devils' best shot but coming back with another charge of its own.

The last 20 minutes didn't go nearly as well as the first half, though, for a Jackets team that led 21-20 at halftime.

"In the first half, I thought, defensively, we did about as good a job as we could possibly do, holding Duke to 20 points," Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. "Then in the second half, we seemed a little complacent. I don't think we've figured out yet how to play against a top-10 team. When you come out of the locker room at halftime, foul five times and turn the ball over, you're back on your heels."

Duke took advantage of that, as a 14-3 Blue Devils run spanning the first and second halves helped erase a three-point deficit and allowed them to regain a solid lead, 31-23.

Tech quickly answered, though, putting together a 12-2 run of its own to move back out in front by two.

From there, the teams traded baskets and leads, as the three minutes between 13:00 and 10:00 featured three ties and four lead changes, before Duke started its final run to take control of the game.

A big part of Duke's success came from forcing Tech turnovers, with 17 of the Jackets' 27 turnovers coming in the second half.

"I think they did a great job with their press," Joseph said. "They're one of the best defensive teams in the league. I won't take anything away from them, but we've been over that press for three days."

The Yellow Jackets started the game cold, shooting 11 percent from the field for the first 11 minutes and trailing 15-5 before the offense warmed up.

Beginning with two Brigitte Ardossi free throws with 9:25 left in the first half, Georgia Tech went on a 13-0 run that turned the 10-point deficit into an 18-15 lead after an Ardossi layup at the 3:43 mark.

After making two of their first 19 field-goal attempts, the Jackets made six of 13 in the final nine minutes to turn what looked like it might be a blowout into a tight game at the half. It was the first time this season Duke has trailed an ACC opponent at halftime.

At least some of the credit for the charge went to the Tech defense, which forced 12 Duke turnovers in the first half to keep the Jackets in the game when their offense was struggling.

Ardossi finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while teammate Deja Foster led the team with 15 points. Jasmine Thomas scored a game-high 20 for Duke.