Propelled by a buzzer-beater from sophomore Grayson Allen, Duke finished off a big comeback and defeated No. 7 Virginia in a 63-62 thriller Saturday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Despite finding themselves down 11 in the first half, the Blue Devils pulled off their second consecutive victory against a ranked opponent behind a big performance from forward Brandon Ingram.
Revisiting the three keys to the game:
Find the range from deep: Thanks to a combined eight 3-pointers between Ingram and junior Matt Jones, the Blue Devils outscored the Cavaliers 24-6 from long-range. Although it was not a good day for Allen from distance—the sophomore missed all four of his attempts—Ingram and Jones stepped up and compensated for Duke's struggles in the paint—where it was outscored by 14 points.
Pressure the ball: Although the Cavaliers shot 48 percent from the field in the game, Duke was able to handle their perimeter playmakers, despite forcing just seven turnovers. Guard London Perrantes was held to eight points thanks in part to a solid defensive performance from freshman guard Derryck Thornton. Virginia was almost entirely dependent on big man Anthony Gill and guard Malcolm Brogdon—a duo that averaged almost 32 points per game entering Saturday's contest—for offense
Limit turnovers: Against the third-lowest scoring defense in the nation, the Blue Devils took care of the ball and reduced their turnover total from 13 against Louisville Monday to 10 against the Cavaliers. Virginia only posted eight points off turnovers and could not get easy buckets in the open court in transition. But head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad still has a few lessons to learn as Duke gave the ball away three straight times with a 51-44 lead, allowing the Cavaliers to regain some momentum and make a late run.
Three key plays:
1:04 remaining, first half: Ingram attacked the rim from the left side of the court and dunked the ball with Gill and another Virginia defender in the area. The slam made it a one-point game and was the forward's eight straight point for the team.
12:16 remaining, second half: The Blue Devils notched their largest lead of the evening at 51-44 thanks to a triple from Jones. Freshman guard Luke Kennard fed Allen, who immediately found Jones in the right corner for a momentum-shifting shot.
0:01 remaining, second half: With 11 seconds left to play, Brogdon scored on a reverse flip layup that gave the Cavaliers a 62-61 lead. But on the next play, Duke would win it. Allen came off his inbound pass to center Marshall Plumlee and retrieved the ball with time winding down. Despite Gill’s challenge, the Blue Devil guard attacked the basket and hung in the air for an acrobatic finish as the final buzzer rang.
The featured game of ESPN's Saturday college basketball slate was a 2:30 p.m. tilt between No. 6 Kansas and No. 3 Oklahoma—the rematch of January's triple-overtime game at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Big 12's full double-round robin scheduling ensures rematches of the great games in a conference filled with the parity. The ACC—now expanded to 15 teams—has no such luxury with its scheduling, which makes games like Saturday's Duke-Virginia contest immediately following the Jayhawks' four-point win against the Sooners all the more special.
Grayson Allen's scoop shot as time expired lifted the Blue Devils to a 63-62 win on head coach Mike Krzyzewski's 69th birthday, and continued a string of epic games between these two teams.
“To say that was a hard fought game would be underselling it," Krzyzewski said. "It’s one play. They could have won—we did. But I thought we earned it. If they would’ve won, they would’ve earned it. I thought both teams were deserving of winning, and that’s what makes a great game, when that happens. That was so good.” Read more »
The Chronicle's Ryan Hoerger and Meredith Cash react to the Blue Devils' thrilling victory against No. 7 Virginia, keyed by Grayson Allen's game-winning bank shot as time expired. Duke got 25 points from Brandon Ingram—who scored 18 straight at one point—to climb out of an 11-point first-half deficit and notch their second straight win against a top-20 team heading into Wednesday's showdown at No. 9 North Carolina.
The Cavaliers have a bitter history in historic Cameron Indoor Stadium, but they are halfway to turning the things around and avoiding a 17th straight loss in Durham.
Duke trails No. 7 Virginia 34-31 after one half of play at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Freshman Brandon Ingram took awhile to heat up but leads all scorers with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor—including a 2-of-5 clip from downtown. The Blue Devil defense has struggled to contain the Cavaliers' top offensive threats—Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill—who combined for 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting through the first 20 minutes.
It was all guards to start. Sophomore Grayson Allen and freshman Derryck Thornton opened scoring with back-to-back charges through the paint with little resistance to help Duke jump out to a quick 4-0 lead.
But Virginia's defense clamped down, forcing the Blue Devils to hoist from the perimeter for most of the rest of the half. On the other end, senior center Mike Tobey scored eight quick points off the bench as the Cavaliers used a 15-1 run to build a 25-14 lead and force a Duke timeout. Read more »
The Chronicle's Ryan Hoerger and Brian Pollack preview Saturday's showdown between the Blue Devils and No. 7 Cavaliers. Duke dealt Virginia its first loss of the season last year in Charlottesville behind the clutch play of Tyus Jones, and could move back into the top 25 with another marquee win in Cameron Indoor's 1,001st game Saturday.
Following its big win Monday against Louisville, the Blue Devils continue their four-game gauntlet with a stiff test against No. 7 Virginia. The Cavaliers enter the game on a seven-game win streak and will bring their tenacious defense to Cameron Indoor Stadium looking for revenge after a close loss to Duke a year ago. Before each game, the Chronicle takes a look at one player from each team who could be the difference maker in Duke's upcoming contest:
Duke: guard Luke Kennard
Since the start of conference play, the freshman guard has averaged 14.3 points per game, including 26 big points last Saturday against N.C. State. Against a much stiffer and more aggressive Louisville defense Monday night, Kennard played only 20 minutes, but scored 11 points in his limited action. The road doesn't get any easier for the Blue Devils as the ACC's top scoring defense visits Durham. The Cavaliers have held their last four opponents to 50 or fewer points and on the season, they are forcing over a dozen turnovers per game. Read more »
A year ago, Duke's win against Virginia was one of the turning points of the season and propelled the Blue Devils to a strong close to conference play. Duke will look to replicate the outcome at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday afternoon against the Cavaliers. Here are three keys to the game:
Find the range from deep
For the Blue Devils to upset No. 7 Virginia and its stout defense, Duke will have to firing on all cylinders. Only once in ACC play—a Jan. 6 win against Wake Forest—has the team shot less than 20 3-pointers, and it is no stretch to think that the Blue Devils will eclipse the 20-attempt mark against the Cavaliers. Considering Virginia only allows 21.7 points per game in the paint—the lowest among major conference teams—and Duke is still without big man Amile Jefferson, the Blue Devils will need to score in other ways to keep the game close.
This season, Duke has shot 39 percent from 3-point range, with several games in which the Blue Devils’ percentage has hovered near 50 percent. For Duke to pull of the upset Saturday and come away with a resume-boosting victory, it will need to have one of its better shooting days from beyond the arc. Read more »
With the All-Star break upon us, the Blue Zone takes a look at how some former Blue Devils have fared in recent games and their outlook going forward.
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
After a tough loss to the Boston Celtics last Friday, the Cleveland Cavaliers have pulled off three straight victories—all with standout performances from the former Duke guard. Irving has been on a tear for the team with an average of 32 points per game during the stretch. The former Blue Devil had 29 points against the New Orleans Pelicans, 32 points and 12 assists against the Sacramento Kings, and finally 35 points and 7 assists against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. The guard's performance even up-staged the final chapter in the Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James rivalry. Irving and his teammates have fought off the adjustment to a new head coach in the middle of the season and appear to be gaining steam at just the right time.
Sam Turken: Obviously, it's unfortunate that it happened—Sirk won’t be able to participate in spring ball now, nor will he be able to play in the spring showcase April 9. His return to action in 2016 will depend on how his rehab goes—when he ruptured his right Achilles in April 2013, he redshirted the entire season, though he would have been the back-up to Anthony Boone anyways. When and if Sirk is able to come back fully healthy next season, I think he holds onto his starting job. Although backup Parker Boehme played well in several games this past season and will practice with the first team in the spring, Sirk’s athleticism, experience and intangibles will help him secure the position.
Seth Johnson: With Sirk facing another Achilles injury, Cutcliffe can look to four quarterbacks on the roster for the upcoming spring and leading into the fall. Boehme—a rising redshirt junior—stands out as the obvious candidate to work under center in Sirk’s absence, as the only backup with any in-game experience. Boehme was 43-for-78 through the air last season for 579 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and was called upon 45 times on the ground for 181 yards and five touchdowns. Most of those numbers were picked up in two starts against Pittsburgh and at Virginia, when the Blue Devils dropped consecutive games, but Boehme seems the likely option without Sirk. Even if Sirk is ready by fall camp or the season, the biggest problem Duke faces is his lack of rapport with receivers and the offense that can be developed in the offseason. Boehme will have that opportunity, which could give him a higher stock as the likely starter next season. Read more »
Nearly halfway through conference play, Duke is sitting at 18-6 overall and 7-4 in ACC play. The team has turned it around after hitting a rough patch and appears to have hit its stride with big matchups against Virginia, North Carolina and Louisville looming. The Chronicle's men's basketball beat writers take a look at the storylines surrounding the Blue Devils.
After losing four of five games, Duke has won three straight games, including their first win against a ranked opponent Monday against Louisville. What has been the biggest improvement for the team in this recent stretch?
Ryan Hoerger: The improved play of Derryck Thornton has helped spark this team. Inserted back into the starting lineup Feb. 2 at Georgia Tech after several games coming off the bench, Thornton scored 15 points against the Yellow Jackets, followed by excellent defense on Anthony "Cat" Barber for most of the first half Feb. 6 against N.C. State. The freshman didn't score much Monday against Louisville, but hit a critical shot late in the shot clock to push the lead to eight with less than a minute to go. With Thornton starting, the Blue Devils have a more natural point guard on the floor, allowing guards Grayson Allen and Matt Jones to look for their shot rather than be creators and primary ball-handlers. It also creates a nice role for Luke Kennard coming off the bench as a pure scorer—not many teams have a guy that can go off for 30 points sitting with his warm-up on when the game tips off. Read more »