Duke in a surprising battle on the defensive end upends number 11 ranked Clemson 66-57. Duke since going with zone defense as their primary defense has rattled off 3 straight wins. Clemson played the Blue Devils tough, even without 2 of their best players
Shelton Mitchell and Donte Grantham were missing from the Clemson lineup. Grantham lost for the year with an ACL injury and Mitchell in concussion protocol after the Florida State loss. Clemson still put forth a spirited effort and came within a possession of taking this game. Defensively both teams brought their A game, contesting and cutting off access to the 3 point line while playing physical in the paint. Both teams came in averaging well over 80 points a game and neither team cracked 70. Neither team was able to crack 50% shooting in the game but Due did shoot 6-13 from beyond the arc, probably the difference in the game considering Clemson out rebounded Duke, had less turnovers, and won the battle for second chance points 11-2. The other advantage Duke managed was at the free throw line where Duke went 22-26 to only 10-12 for the Tigers. Dukes zone caused the Tigers to take shots that were outside of their comfort zone and it played into Duke’s hands.
Grayson Allen scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, keeping the Devils shot for shot with the Tigers as the lead volleyed several times in the first half. Trevon Duval, also effected the first half with this ability to drive to the basket. The freshman point guard scored 7 in the first half and 12 overall for the game. In the second half, for Duke, the game centered around trying to get the ball to Wendell Carter Jr. who scored a team high 13 points in the second half on his way to another double double adding 10 rebounds. Carter only shot 4-14 from the floor but did go 6-7 from the free throw line for Duke. Carter also added 3 blocked shots on the defensive end.
The Duke bench, which has seen more time with Marvin Bagley being out, has made the most of their opportunities. In limited minutes Marques Bolden was able to score 5 points and pull down 3 boards as he works himself back into game shape. The sophomore center also added 2 blocked shots.
- Holding Clemson to under 40% shooting and only 5-20 from 3
- Duke shot 84.6% from the free throw line going 22-26
- Duke shot 46.2% from beyond the arc, their seasonal average is under 40%
- Duke won a tough road game in a hostile arena and withstood the run
- 7 points off the bench.
- 10 steals
- Allowing a run by Clemson in the latter stages of the game, putting the outcome in jeopardy.
- Duke did not finish well at the rim, the bigs seemed to adjust as the game went on but Duke left a lot of shots short from close in.