HALFTIME: Portland State 49, Duke 45

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Blue Devils might be a 25-point favorite to beat Portland State, but the Vikings have not backed down in the first half.

Duke trailed most of the first half at Veterans Memorial Coliseum and heads into the locker room facing a 49-45 deficit after falling behind by as much as eight points. Portland State's frenetic run-and-gun style kept Duke on its heels, with most of its points coming very early in the shot clock. The Vikings repeatedly pressured Duke in the backcourt, as the Blue Devils tried to bring the ball up the floor, hurting their offensive flow and leading to three Trevon Duval turnovers. 

Marvin Bagley III and Marques Bolden played well in the paint, scoring 16 points and collecting 14 rebounds. Bagley and Bolden also combined for four blocks, but the Vikings were still able to rack up six offensive rebounds, with Duke struggling to rebound out of its 2-3 zone. 

The Vikings' advantage came from their success from deep on the fast break, shooting 50.0 percent from three while holding Duke to 30.0 percent. Grayson Allen, who went 1-of-10 from deep in the last two games, continued to struggle, but knocked a triple down with less than four minutes to play. 

Despite the Vikings being in the bonus with 10 minutes left in the half, Duke was unable to capitalize on its free-throw opportunities. The Blue Devils shot just 62.5 percent from the charity stripe. 

Wendell Carter Jr. was held scoreless until late in the half and only played seven minutes, with the Blue Devils preferring to go small and use Bolden inside due to the Vikings' guard-dominated lineup. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski played the four-guard lineup of Duval, Allen, Trent Jr. and Alex O'Connell for much of the second part of the half. 

The Blue Devils' leading scorer was Bagley, with 10 points. 

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • O'Connell gave Duke a big lift off the bench, scoring seven points and dishing out two assists in eight minutes.
  • Bolden's 14 minutes are already more than he had played in an entire game this season.
  • Portland State has only committed one turnover despite playing at a frenetic pace.
  • Duke has just two second-chance points off five offensive rebounds, failing to capitalize on its extra opportunities.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Chronicle.