Beyond the arc: Duke men's basketball vs. Miami

<p>Luke Kennard had to force up a lot of shots against an athletic Miami backcourt and finished the day just 6-of-20 from the field.</p>

Luke Kennard had to force up a lot of shots against an athletic Miami backcourt and finished the day just 6-of-20 from the field.

For the second time in a week, the home crowd stormed the court after beating Duke—this time in Miami as the Hurricanes knocked off the Blue Devils 55-50 Saturday afternoon. It was Duke's lowest scoring output in eight years, and the Blue Devils are now just 3-5 on the road this season.

Revisiting the three keys to the game:

  • Grayson Allen finds his form: The junior guard has been plagued by an ankle injury and has not practiced the past few weeks, and after he struggled to find a rhythm Wednesday at Syracuse, head coach Mike Krzyzewski rested Allen against Miami. Harry Giles started in place of the Jacksonville, Fla., native, but it was fellow freshman Frank Jackson who took the lion's share of the minutes as Duke's primary point guard with Allen on the bench.
  • Win the battle of the boards: Although a lot went wrong for the Blue Devils in South Florida, they were able to control the glass against a long Hurricane side. Miami utilized a 2-3 zone—similar to the one Duke faced against the Orange earlier in the week—and the Blue Devils took advantage on the offensive boards yet again. Duke collected 21 offensive rebounds to just 13 for the Hurricanes and won the overall battle 46-42, led by eight boards from Giles.
  • Better switching on screens to avoid foul trouble: Facing a Miami offense with a number of talented guards, the Blue Devils needed to avoid getting saddled by fouls like they were Wednesday. In a well-officiated game, neither team had a player whistled for more than three fouls, and Duke big men Giles, Amile Jefferson and Marques Bolden repeatedly forced the Hurricanes into tough entry passes. They did struggle to protect the paint, though, as the hosts scored 40 of their 55 points down low.

Three key stats:

  • Luke Kennard shoots 6-of-20 from the field: Despite putting up 16 points to lead the Blue Devil offense along with Jackson, the sophomore guard could not get comfortable, with Miami's length giving him fits. Kennard played all 40 minutes, but did not make a 3-pointer until the 11:35 mark of the second half and hit on just 2-of-6 long-range attempts. The Franklin, Ohio, native was also one of four Duke players to register three turnovers, and the Blue Devil offense struggled without the usual stellar performance of its leading scorer.
  • Duke struggles to just 3-of-9 shooting at the charity stripe: The Blue Devils left six points out on the floor and were not able to earn easy points from the free-throw line. Both Jefferson and Giles went 0-for-2, with Giles' two misses coming in the final minute when Duke had a chance to trim the deficit to one possession. The Blue Devils could not draw contact on a number of chances deep in the paint, and their nine free-throw attempts were a season low.
  • Miami tallies 18 points off turnovers: Although Duke's 13 turnovers were not necessarily a season high, they came on a number of costly occasions in live-ball situations and allowed the Hurricanes to score several easy buckets. Miami's Ja'Quan Newton laid one in right before halftime after Bruce Brown picked Jackson's pocket and gave the home team plenty of momentum headed into the break.

Three key plays:

  • 9:06, second half: With the Blue Devils floundering to start the second half, the Duke offense needed a spark. And just as he did all afternoon, Jackson provided the visitors with instant offense, drilling a pair of 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. The second pulled the Blue Devils within one, and Jackson added a free throw less than a minute later to cap a 12-2 Duke run and level the score at 39 apiece.
  • 7:41, second half: Coming out of the under-8 media timeout, Miami executed a perfect inbounds play to exploit a napping Duke defense. With the ball in the hands of Hurricane forward Kamari Murphy, Brown slipped backdoor against Jayson Tatum and received a perfect pass, slamming it home for a wide-open jam that gave the hosts a four-point lead.
  • 4:13, second half: After Matt Jones tied the contest at 43, Davon Reed and Miami went right back to their bread and butter with the pick-and-roll offense. Reed got past his defender and drew contact from Bolden deep in the paint as he finished a layup. The Hurricane guard then completed the old-fashioned 3-point play and gave the home team a lead it would never relinquish.

And the Duke game ball goes to.... Frank Jackson

With Allen sidelined, Jackson made his presence felt despite coming off the bench yet again. The freshman took control of the Blue Devil offense, shooting 6-of-11 from the field with three triples, and added a couple of nifty layups through the long arms of Miami's defense. Despite finishing the game with three turnovers, the Alpine, Utah, native played 29 minutes—the most he has played in ACC game thus far—and put up 16 points for the first time since late November. Jackson was one of just two Duke players to finish with a positive plus-minus and rounded out his performance with six rebounds, three assists and a steal.

And the Miami game ball goes to.... Bruce Brown

From the get-go, the Hurricane offense was dominated by Brown. The freshman scored Miami's first seven points en route to 13 of the Hurricanes' 22 first-half points. Brown was the only Miami player to score in double figures against the Blue Devils and drilled the Hurricanes' lone triple. The Boston native also led all players with four assists and was effective on the defensive end with three defensive boards, two steals and two blocks.

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


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