The Duke Blue Devils had no issues with Syracuse in their first meeting with the Blue Devils winning by 20 points in their own gym. Duke would follow that victory with a 25 point win in the Carrier Dome. The game, for the Blue Devils, included one of the hottest starts they’ve had all season scoring the first 14 points of the game on their way to a 20-4 lead. The first half saw Duke’s lead grow to as large as 30 points at the 5:05 mark.
The Blue Devils were paced by freshman Paolo Banchero in that first half. The 6’10 forward scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half and added 6 assists. The Blue Devils were hot from beyond the arc shooting 59% (18 of 30) with the combination of freshmen AJ Griffin and Paolo Banchero shooting a combined 8-11 in the half.
The Orange would go into the locker room with a little momentum as they mounted a 16-3 run, 7 of which were scored by Buddy Boeheim, to end the half cutting the Blue Devil lead down to 17 drawing the ire of Coach K. Boeheim led the Orange with 21 points on 10-21 shooting.
The second half saw the Blue Devils work the ball inside to sophomore center Mark Williams who the Orange had no answer for. Williams owned the paint, scoring 17 in the second half adding to the 11 he scored in the first half for a career high 28 points. What Duke lacked in 3-point shooting in the second half they made up for with a 24-14 edge in paint points. For the game the Blue Devils won the paint points war 40-36.
Defensively the Blue Devils were impressive holding Syracuse to under 30% (26%) in 3-point shooting for the game. Syracuse was out-rebounded 38-25.
The Blue Devils had by a trio of 20 point scores led by the aforementioned Mark Williams with 28 points, Williams also added 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. Banchero added 21 points, shooting 4-7 from beyond the arc and dishing 9 assists. Freshman AJ Griffin rounded out the 20 point scoring with 20 points on 7-11 shooting and 6-10 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Jeremy Roach and junior Wendell Moore combined for 15 points and 9 assists for the Blue Devils.
3-point shooting was a net gain for the Blue Devils this game. Duke was 15 of 32 from beyond the arc for 47% while shooting 54% for the game overall.
- Duke was crisp offensively and stout defensively
- The Blue Devils executed the game plan to near perfection
- Came out strong in the second half after the Syracuse first half run
- The Orange 16-3 run to end the first half, queued by turnovers and defensive miscues