DURHAM, N.C. – Paolo Banchero had 23 points and second-ranked Duke shot 62% after halftime to beat Virginia Tech 76-65 on Wednesday night in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
Banchero scored 17 points in that dominant second half, fueled by the move to a smaller lineup around the versatile 6-foot-10 star freshman. That helped Duke (11-1, 1-0 ACC) erase an eight-point deficit early in the second half while slowing Keve Aluma after his big first-half performance.
Wendell Moore Jr. added 18 points for Duke, which has won four straight.
Banchero sparked the go-ahead push from a 42-36 deficit, scoring on a drive, then sticking back his own miss and following with a step-back 3-pointer — all against Aluma. Banchero followed that by getting airborne and then zipping a pass to a cutting Trevor Keels for a layup and a 43-42 lead at the 14:31 mark.
The lead grew from there, with Banchero…