Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 2/2/12
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Austin Rivers scored 18 points, Ryan Kelly had 15, and No. 7 Duke used a late first-half run to open a double-digit lead it never relinquished in a 75-60 victory against Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Kelly had seven points in the 13-2 spurt that helped the Blue Devils (19-3, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) pull away. Rivers hit a 3-pointer, and Kelly scored the last five in a 10-0 burst in the second half when Duke extended its lead to 62-40 with 11:19 remaining. Seth Curry added 11 points, and Mason Plumlee had 10 for Duke. The loss was the seventh in eight games for Virginia Tech (12-10, 1-6). Five of the previous losses were by four points or fewer, but the Blue Devils left nothing to chance in avenging a 64-60 loss at Cassell Coliseum last February. Erick Green led Virginia Tech with 17 points, and Victory Davila tied his career high with 16. The game was tied 21-21 when Duke started pounding it inside and scored 13 of the next 15 points. Rivers began the run with a putback, and Kelly scored on a dunk and then a drive. After Green hit a pair of free throws for Virginia Tech, Quinn Cook scored on a drive, Kelly swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Andre Dawkins scored inside for the Blue Devils, extending their lead to 34-23. After a putback by Davila, Plumlee made two free throws, and the 6-foot Cook scored on a hook to make it 38-25. Green's 3-pointer that just beat the first-half buzzer pulled the Hokies back within 10, but they got no closer. Just to be sure, the Blue Devils put it away with a run that Rivers started with a 3-pointer, his third of four in the game. Plumlee added two free throws, Kelly scored on a spin move when he banked the ball in as he appeared to be falling down, and then followed with a 3-pointer. The ending was a stark contrast from last season, when the Hokies' home victory brought fans storming onto the court to celebrate a victory that many thought assured their first NCAA tournament berth in four years. But coach Seth Greenberg's team lost its last two games of the regular season, won twice in the ACC tournament, but then lost to the Blue Devils in the semifinals and were relegated to the NIT again.
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