With 10.4 seconds left, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim didn’t like the call against his team and went bonkers, leading to an ejection and four free throws (plus the ball) for Duke. That helped the Blue Devils edge past the Orange, 66-60. It was the first meeting ever between the two teams at Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke has now won 31 straight games at home.
After winning 25 games in a row to start the season, the ‘Cuse have now lost two games in a row. They also dropped to 12-2 in the ACC and into second place in the conference (behind 14-1 Virginia, who they play next weekend). Duke is now 11-4, a 1/2 game ahead of rival North Carolina in the standings for third place.
It was a close call that led to Boeheim’s ejection, but one that the ‘Cuse could have withstood. They were down by just two points and Duke would have been in-bounding the basketball. Anything could have happened. Instead, Duke made 3-of-4 free throws and got the ball back.
The first matchup was an instant classic that Syracuse won and tonight’s game looked to be headed to the same ending. The two teams played to a 26-26 tie at the half. Syracuse was lucky to be tied, as they shot just 28.6% from the field in the first half. However, Duke left plenty of points on the court, as they went just 3-for-9 from the free throw line and 3-for-11 from three point land. It did not get better from the charity stripe in the second half, as they finished the game making just 13-of-25.
Marshall Plumlee was the difference for Duke in the first half, as he played 15 minutes. He scored four points, hauled in five rebounds, blocked three shots, and dished out one assist. However, he did not see action in the second half.
In the second half, all of the Blue Devils contributed. They also took their first lead of the game in the second half.
Though he only made two shots, Quinn Cook scored nine second half points. Jabari Parker had his usual double-double: 19 points and ten rebounds. Rodney Hood scored six of his 13 points in the second half.
Duke’s defense was the best it had been all season. Three point specialist Trevor Cooney made just 1-of-5 shots. CJ Fair only scored 12 points. Tyler Ennis made just 2-of-13 shots.
Former Blue Devil Michael Gbinije scored eight points in the first half, bringing some energy off their bench.
The Blue Devils next play Virginia Tech at home on Tuesday night.