Duke's efficient but young offense has never seen a defense like Virginia's, and the Blue Devils played like it for most of the first half.

The second-ranked Cavaliers lead No. 4 Duke 32-22 at halftime at Cameron Indoor Stadium, holding the Blue Devils to 37.0 percent shooting. Duke is having some success with Wendell Carter Jr. and Marvin Bagley III inside, but is getting virtually no production from any of its guards against Virginia's suffocating pack-line defense.

The Blue Devils scored on their first two trips down the floor, finding holes in the middle of Virginia's defense for buckets in the paint by Carter and Bagley. But once the Cavaliers settled in and limited Duke's opportunities in transition, offense was hard to come by. Duke scored a mere two points in the next seven minutes, allowing Virginia to take the lead with a 12-2 run.

The Blue Devil backcourt has struggled to stretch the defense with its shooting, as Duke is just 0-of-7 from deep, and point guard Trevon Duval is having trouble starting the offense again after a scoreless outing Tuesday at Wake Forest. The point guard got a floater in the lane blocked by Ty Jerome and has any many points as he has turnovers.

Bagley and Carter have tried to keep the Blue Devils in the game, combining for the team's first 10 points and finishing the half with 16. Carter and Bagley are playing off each other well on the rare occasion they can get space to work in the paint, with Carter feeding Bagley for two dunks.

But Virginia's offense has been effective and efficient to keep Duke at bay, led by sophomore Kyle Guy's 10 points. After Gary Trent Jr. made a breakaway dunk to bring the Blue Devils within two, the Cavaliers scored on their next four possessions to go on a 9-2 run and force Mike Krzyzewski to use a timeout.

Virginia took an 12-point lead on a 3-point play by Jerome with less than four minutes to play, and Duke will need its fourth comeback from a double-digit second-half deficit of the season to avoid its first loss in three weeks.

Here are a few observations from the first half:

  • A day after Marvin Bagley talked about the importance of valuing each possession against a slow-paced team like Virginia, Duke has gifted the Cavaliers a couple of stops with errant post feeds and finished the half with eight turnovers.
  • Sophomore center Marques Bolden is in uniform and available to play after missing six straight game with an MCL sprain, but has not entered the contest.
  • Bagley and Carter are having success when they get the ball in the paint, but they have too often drifted out to the perimeter for three missed 3-pointers.
  • The Blue Devils did not attempt a free throw for the first 17 minutes of the game.
  • Duke's season low in points is 78. It would take a miracle or several overtimes to reach that mark this afternoon.