Syracuse Dunked by Duke
Syracuse lost 60-44 to Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium last night.
The Blue Devils controlled the game from the opening tip. The atmosphere combined with the effectiveness of Duke’s 2-3 zone made it a tough night for the Orange.
Both teams struggled early, but a layup by Tyus Battle cut the Blue Devils’ lead to 12-8 with 10:42 remaining in the opening stanza. Duke outscored Syracuse 15-8 the rest of the half to take a 27-16 lead into the break.
Battle connected on a pair of free throws to bring the Orange within seven, 37-30, with 9:49 to go, but that was the closest Syracuse would get.
Neither team shot the ball well from three. Oshae Brissett made the first three for the Orange with 15:15 left to play, while Trevon Duval converted the Blue Devils’ first successful try from deep with 7:35 left.
For Syracuse to have had any chance to pull off the upset, they were in need of an off night from Duke offensively. The Orange held the Blue Devils to 41.5% from the field, but Syracuse’s offensive performance was even worse. The Orange shot just 31.5% from the field.
Duke dominated on the interior. The Blue Devils were led by ACC Player of the Year candidate, Marvin Bagley III, who scored 19 points and grabbed 7 rebounds off the bench. It was Bagley III’s first action after missing the previous four contests with a sprained knee. Wendell Carter Jr., who was named in the FBI probe for receiving impermissible benefits, was cleared by Duke’s compliance office Friday afternoon. The freshman big man recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Carter Jr. added 4 assists and 4 steals to help his team to victory.
Syracuse was led by Battle’s 12 points and 4 rebounds. Frank Howard tallied 11 points and dished out 7 assists. Paschal Chukwu added 6 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out. Brissett finished with 6 points.
Jim Boeheim commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “They [Duke] were able to get some stuff in low that we can’t get,” Boeheim said. “I thought that was really the difference in the game. We made some really bad turnovers in transition, in the middle of the court, careless turnovers that you can’t make. Both teams struggled to shoot and we have struggled to shoot most of the year. I don’t think that Coach K should really be allowed to play zone,” Boeheim joked.
With the loss, the Orange fell to 18-11 overall, 7-9 in the ACC, while the Blue Devils improved to 24-5, 12-4 in conference play.
Syracuse will play the first of their last two games that are both must wins when they travel to Chestnut Hill, MA to take on Boston College on Wednesday at 9pm. The Eagles are 16-13 overall, 6-10 in the ACC, and are coming off a 79-78 loss at Miami on Saturday. The Orange will look to sweep the season series from Boston College. Syracuse beat the Eagles, 81-63, at the Carrier Dome on January 24.