Duke loses to Georgia Tech in overtime as NCAA hopes dim further

Steve Wiseman
·5 min read

With its top scorer having fouled out and 3-pointers not falling, Duke pieced together a valiant rally to force overtime in a game the Blue Devils desperately needed to win Tuesday night at Georgia Tech.

In the extra period, though, Duke’s inability to hit a shot left them further away from earning an NCAA tournament bid.

Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright scored 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, including six points in overtime, overtime as the Yellow Jackets beat the Blue Devils 81-77 in ACC basketball at McCamish Pavilion Tuesday night.

The second loss in a row -- both in overtime -- left the Blue Devils (11-10, 9-8 ACC) almost certainly needing to win the ACC tournament championship to keep them from missing their first NCAA tournament since 1995.

Duke shot just 44.1%, making 7 of 26 3-pointers. The Blue Devils made only 4 of 13 shots in overtime, including 2 of 7 3-pointers.

After Georgia Tech went scoreless over the final 4:41 of regulation to allow Duke to rally from eight points down to force overtime at 64-all, a Mark Williams dunk off a pass from Joey Baker gave the Blue Devils a 66-64 lead in the extra period.

The Yellow Jackets (14-8, 10-6 ACC) eventually got their offense going again with Wright starting a run with a jumper to tie the score. After a Duke turnover, Jose Alvarado’s reverse layup put Georgia Tech ahead.

Duke’s Wendell Moore missed a contested shot in the lane and Jordan Usher’s basket with 3:10 left put the Yellow Jackets up 70-66.

Williams split two free throws with 3:00 to play and Alvarado missed a long 3-pointer. But DJ Steward failed to convert a driving shot in the lane.

Fouled by Williams on the rebound, Alvarado hit two free throws with 2:15 giving Georgia Tech a 72-67 lead.

Williams again split two free throws at 2:04 leaving Georgia Tech up 72-68. But Wright’s slam dunk with 1:39 left gave the Yellow Jackets a 74-68 lead.

Earlier, Duke’s poor shooting throughout and a spate of turnovers during a key stretch of the second half allowed Georgia Tech to erase the Blue Devils’ five-point, second-half lead to build a 64-56 lead with 4:41 to play.

But the Yellow Jackets failed to score another point in regulation.

With leading scorer Matthew Hurt having fouled out with 6:14 to play having scored just 12 points, Duke looked elsewhere for offense and found it.

Jordan Goldwire hit a shot in the lane with 2:56 to play and Joey Baker’s 3-pointer with 2:19 left sliced the Georgia Tech lead to 64-61.

After Mark Williams blocked Michael Devoe’s shot, Baker was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer. His three free throws with 1:43 left tied the game at 64.

Georgia Tech missed four shots over its next two possessions, including a Jose Alvarado air-balled 3-pointer that gave Duke possession with 6.1 seconds to play.

Jaemyn Brakefield’s 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off and the team’s headed to overtime.

Here are the earlier updates from the game:

Second half update

Senior big man Moses Wright, from Raleigh’s Enloe High School, flexed his muscles in the second half to help Georgia Tech finally overtake Duke and lead 58-52 with 7:47 to play.

Duke led the entire second half, but never by more than five points, until Georgia Tech’s 10-2 run put the Yellow Jackets up by six points.

Wright scored six points during that run, two on slam dunks. He grabbed rebounds to score on two of the baskets to give him 21 points and nine rebounds.

Duke stayed with the Yellow Jackets behind Wendell Moore’s 18 points and 14 from freshman center Mark Williams.

Halftime update

With Georgia Tech senior guard Jose Alvarado yet to score a point, Duke held a 34-31 lead at halftime.

Wendell Moore scored a game-high 16 points in the first half while Matthew Hurt scored 10 for Duke. The Blue Devils made just 15 of 32 shots (46.9%) from the field, including 2 of 11 3-pointers. But Moore hit 7 of his 9 shots while Hurt hit 4 of 7.

Alvarado scored 26 points when Duke beat Georgia Tech 75-68 on Jan. 26 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. In the first half of the rematch at McCamish Pavilion, Alvarado attempted only two shots, missing both.

Georgia Tech, which led 20-16, saw that lead disappear when Duke scored seven points in a row to lead 23-20. Duke’s lead was 29-28 when Hurt scored inside off a slick pass from freshman forward Jaemyn Brakefield. After Moses Wright missed a shot inside, Moore hit a 3-pointer to give Duke a 34-28 lead with 1:24 to play.

Duke had two more chances to build on its lead but Jeremy Roach missed a 3-pointer and Wright blocked Brakefield’s shot in the lane with 16 seconds left in the half.

Wright drilled a 3-pointer as the first half ended leaving Duke with a 34-31 halftime lead.

Wright’s 11 points lead Georgia Tech, which hit 12 of 26 (46.2%) first-half shots. The Yellow Jackets turned the ball over eight times.

First half update

Matthew Hurt’s continued hot shooting and Wendell Moore’s strong drives to the basket gave Duke a 23-20 lead over Georgia Tech with eight minutes left until halftime.

Moore led Duke with nine points while Hurt scored eight points in the game’s first 12 minutes. They helped Duke make 10 of its first 18 shots (55%).

Georgia Tech led by as many as four points before a 7-0 Duke run, with Hurt scoring five and Moore a basket, put Duke in front.

The Yellow Jackets hit 8 of their first 15 shots but turned the ball over five times.

Pregame update

After senior guard Jordan Goldwire started on Saturday on the school’s senior night, Duke returns to the starting lineup against Georgia Tech it used for most of February. Freshman guard Jeremy Roach is back among the starting five, joining freshman guard DJ Steward, freshman center Mark Williams and sophomore forwards Wendell Moore and Matthew Hurt. These five players are starting for the seventh time in eight games.