Crotty finished with three goals and one assist for four points, while Howell added three scores. Justin Turri also registered three points on two goals and one assist. The Blue Devils improve to 11-3 overall after tallying their first ACC win of the season. The team also extends its win streak to nine straight contests heading into the ACC Tournament. Meanwhile, the loss is the Cavaliers' first of the season, as they fall to 11-1 and 2-1 in the ACC.
"This was a great game," head coach John Danowski said. "What a great environment to play in, in front of 8,000 people on ESPNU and I thought we came out and played right tonight. Virginia is a great team and they have the talent to embarrass you if you don't play the right way and we were able to do that tonight. I guess the reward is is that we get to play them again on Friday."
The first half was a back-and-forth affair with both squads trading scoring runs. Virginia grabbed a 3-0 lead before Duke's Turri put the Blue Devils on the board in the final minute of the first quarter.
Turri's score jumpstarted a 5-0 run by the Blue Devils. The redshirt sophomore added his second of the game just 14 seconds into the second quarter off a pass from defenseman Parker McKee. Senior attackman Crotty added a third unanswered score for the Blue Devils, beating his defender to the left and slipping as shot past the near post. Will McKee and Max Quinzani rounding out the scoring burst for the Blue Devils before Virginia answered with a three-goal run.
Chris Bocklet stopped Duke's scoring burst at the 10:11 mark and Shamel Bratton added his second goal of the game four minutes later to even the contest. Cavalier attackman Steele Stanwick completed the second-quarter run to send Virginia into halftime with a 6-5 lead.
The third quarter proved to be much of the same as the Blue Devils registered three unanswered for an 8-5 lead over the Cavaliers. Crotty sparked the run with two tallies off of nice one-on-one work with his defender. Crotty's three goals mark the first time this season the senior attackman has netted three scores.
Dominating the time of possession in the quarter, Mike Catalino put his name in the books next and McKee added his second tally of the contest three minutes later to give Duke a 9-6 advantage with 3:55 left in the period.
Stanwick stopped the Blue Devil run with 1:07 left in the third quarter to send the Cavaliers into the final period trailing by two, 9-7.
The Blue Devils wasted no time to start the fourth quarter as CJ Costabile picked up the loose ball on the opening faceoff and raced down the field. The sophomore longstick midfielder quickly found Zach Howell on the doorstep for the 10-7 lead just 21 seconds into the quarter. Duke added two more in a 22 second span to take the largest lead of the game for either team at 12-7.
Quinzani tallied the first at 13:38, rifling a low shot past Adam Ghitelman. Drawing a one-minute penalty on the previous play, Duke's extra man offense went to work. Turri threaded the needle to Howell who dropped it in the cage for the five-goal advantage.
Rhamel Bratton brought it back to a four-goal game, but the Blue Devil offense continued to roll. Freshman Jake Tripucka scooped up a loose ball in the defensive box and took advantage of the open field, finding Howell in front of the goal for the Duke junior's second straight goal and a 13-8 lead.
Playing with a three-man advantage due to Duke penalties, the Cavaliers made it a 13-9 game with 5:10 left in the contest. That score would hold until the end of the contest.
Duke will head to the ACC Tournament in College Park, Md., next on April 23. The Blue Devils will take on top-seed Virginia as the fourth seed at 5 p.m., at Maryland's Byrd Stadium. This will be the 11th time the two teams will have met in the ACC Tournament.
Notes: Head Coach John Danowski is 18-0 all-time in the month of April in his four seasons at Duke ... Senior Max Quinzani pushed his scoring streak to 60 games with two goals ... The Blue Devils won the groundball battle for the 12th time this season ... Duke has not gone winless in ACC play since 2003.