UVA entered Cameron as the number 2 team in the country and left with a victory as well as national validation. The Cavaliers held the Blue Devils to a season low 63 points as they went on to defeat Duke 65-63. The first half saw Duke put up a season low 22 points and trail the Cavaliers by 10. The Cavaliers increased their lead to 13 in the first possession of the second half but Duke battled back to take a 4 point lead by the 14 minute mark in the second half.
Duke defensively went to zone which threw UVA out of rhythm offensively but UVA would battle back, aided by Duke turnovers and shot selection issues down the stretch. Ty Jerome hit a contested 3 pointer with 39 seconds left to give Virginia a 5 point lead and essentially put the game away for the Cavaliers.
Jerome led the Cavs in scoring with 17 points on 5 of 13 shooting. Duke was led by freshman Marvin Bagley who put up 30 points and 14 rebounds. The Blue Devils fall to 18-3 overall and 6-3 in the ACC.
There was both good and bad in this loss for Duke. Obviously dropping a home game is never a good look and the loss virtually solidifies UVA as the regular season ACC Champs. Duke lost to arguably the best team in the country despite turning the ball over 16 times and only hitting 45% of their free throws. Duke put up 41 points in the second half against the best defense in the NCAA this season and they didn’t play their best. A loss is still a loss but if you watched the presser you could see that Coach K saw something in this game. He saw the mistakes but he also saw that second half as a positive step for his young devils.
There are several things for this Duke team to fix going forward including:
- Being stronger with and valuing the basketball.
- Learning what is a good and a bad shot within certain game situations.
- Free throw shooting.
- Defense (although Duke has made huge strides, they still need work)