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Duke basketball continues to struggle, falls on the road to Georgia Tech in ACC opener

No. 7 Duke’s bad week on the road got worse Saturday.

The Blue Devils lost their second game in a row, 72-68 to Georgia Tech, and also lost starting point guard Tyrese Proctor to a leg injury.

Baye Ndongo, a 6-9 freshman from Senegal, scored 21 points for Georgia Tech. That included two baskets on lob passes that erased Duke’s 68-66 lead and turned the game in Georgia Tech’s favor for good.

The Yellow Jackets (4-2, 1-0 ACC) posted their second consecutive win over a ranked opponent. They beat No. 21 Mississippi State, 67-59, on Tuesday night.

Proctor was injured less than two minutes in to the game as Duke fell behind by 10 points early. The Blue Devils trailed by as many as 11 in the second half before rallying to take a 68-66 lead on a Kyle Filipowski basket with 1:36 to play.

But the Blue Devils (5-3, 0-1 ACC) didn’t score again.

Jeremy Roach led Duke with 20 points. Caleb Foster and Filipowski had 12 each. Mark Mitchell scored 11 points.

Miles Kelly had 16 points and Kowacie Reeves 14 points for the Yellow Jackets.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

3-point shooting hurts Duke again

After shooting poorly from the perimeter in Wednesday night’s 75-70 loss at Arkansas, the Blue Devils hit only 4 of 16 (25%) of their 3-pointers while losing to Georgia Tech. Jared McCain and Filipowski both missed all three of their 3-pointers.

Proctor injury

Proctor fell to the court in pain after missing a layup in the crowded lane with 18:44 to play in the first half.

The game stopped, allowing Duke’s medical staff to work on Proctor. He was helped to the bench my two teammates. Duke athletic trainer Jose Fonseca accompanied a limping Proctor to the locker room. They returned a few minutes later with Proctor still limping.

Proctor spent the rest of the first half on the bench with a towel around his shoulders. He returned to the bench after halftime using crutches.

Foster replaced him in the lineup to start the second half. Proctor averages 11.7 points and 5.4 assists per game this season.

Without their point guard, the Blue Devils only committed six turnovers in the game, but two came in the final minute.

Young gets the start

Duke coach Jon Scheyer altered his lineup slightly, with 6-10 graduate student Ryan Young starting along with Filipowski inside. That meant Mitchell came off the Duke bench to play, marking the first time in his Blue Devils career he’s not started in a game he’s later appeared in.

Mitchell wound up playing more minutes than Young anyway, providing strong play inside late with a pair of dunks that gave Duke a 66-62 lead with 2:20 to play.