Just when it looked like the Duke men’s basketball team might become the new number one next week when the new polls come out, they go and lose at Virginia on Thursday night, 73-68. For the fourth time this season, the Blue Devils lost on the road in the ACC and watched the opposing team’s fans storm the court. The Cavaliers never trailed and it was 11 years to the day that they last beat Duke.
Duke didn’t score their first points until there was 15:20 to go in the first half and UVA lead 9-0. They scored two points each at the first two media timeouts. They were being blown out for most of the first half, as UVA flustered Mason Plumlee inside the entire game. He let the poor offensive showing deter him on defense and he repeatedly got beat and let players score (he wasn’t the only one falling short on defense). However, Duke cut the halftime deficit to 28-23.
Joe Harris, who may be the sleeper pick for the ACC Player of the Year, scored a career-high 36 points on 12-of-20 shooting. Every time Duke got the game close in the second half, Harris would come up with a big shot.
Things got heated in the second half, as Coach K did not like many of the foul calls against his team. Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon, who is normally calm, got a little animated after a call he disliked and was assessed a technical foul. That ballooned UVA’s lead to 12 points.
In their attempt at a second half comeback, Duke was led by Seth Curry. He scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half on 6-of-13 shooting. Alot of his troubles in the first half were due to picking up his second foul with 9:19 to go. Quinn Cook helped the cause, as he scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half. Unfortunately, he dished out just two assists.
Despite his issues inside, Mason scored ten points and hauled in seven rebounds. However, he only took five shots. But Duke got killed on the glass, 33-21.
Harris was not the only dagger in the Blue Devils’ hearts. Akil Mitchell recorded a double-double: 19 points and 12 rebounds. 15 of those points came in the second half.
Next up for the Blue Devils, the rematch at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday night against Miami. I’m guessing the Cameron Crazies will be pumped.
*On a positive note, Ryan Kelly was dressed and supposedly is close to playing.