HOME SWEET HOME: Roach, Filipowski lead Duke men's basketball past No. 17 Miami to stay undefeated at home

<p>Jeremy Roach searches for his shot against Miami in his return to action Jan. 21.</p>

Jeremy Roach searches for his shot against Miami in his return to action Jan. 21.

It was raining and the wind was howling on Coach K Court, but Duke avoided the eye of the storm as it eked out a win against the Hurricanes.

The Blue Devils took down No. 17 Miami 68-66 Saturday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium, continuing their home-court defense by improving their record in Durham to 10-0. Kyle Filipowski’s ninth double-double of the year (17 points, 14 rebounds) plus strong shooting from beyond the arc brought Duke ahead in the second half before sealing the deal in the last minute of a dramatic afternoon.

"Our defense has been our backbone and I think we're the type of team we have to gut it out and scrap and claw and we did that in the last minute," head coach Jon Scheyer said.

Duke (14-5, 5-3 in the ACC) fended off a 6-0 Miami run with just more than two minutes to play to retain its slim lead with two Filipowski free throws, making it a 66-63 game. On the other end of the floor, Miami’s Norchad Omier missed one of two free throws. On the next possession for the Hurricanes (15-4, 6-3), three missed shots and offensive rebounds then resulted in Duke regaining control of the ball.

"Some teams are just gonna fight it out to the end, and Miami, they had one of those days today where they stuck with us to the end," freshman forward Dariq Whitehead said. "It's not gonna be easy, we had the depth to fight that one out."

Filipowski was fouled on a drive and hit both free throws to give his Blue Devils a four-point lead with 19 seconds to go. After Miami connected on a layup, a missed free throw by Duke freshman Tyrese Proctor led to a full-court heave from Hurricane junior Nijel Pack that missed by a wide margin.

"Just gotta stay poised to the very end," Filipowski said. "I've always been a big believer in free throws... every free throw matters, free throws win games."

While the Blue Devils aimed to start the second half fast with baskets from Filipowski, Dereck Lively II and Proctor, Miami stifled the Duke run with two Jordan Miller 3-pointers. As the shot clock wound down on a previously fruitless Duke possession, Whitehead banked in a three as the shot clock hit zeroes to give Duke back its lead. 

Graduate wing Jacob Grandison soon after joined the 3-point barrage to give the Blue Devils a two-possession lead as a 2-3 zone defense allowed Lively to use his length to disrupt shots at the rim and hold Miami scoreless for more than five crucial minutes. With 14 points, Roach featured in the offense as Duke built its lead to 59-51 with under 11 minutes to go. 

The Leesburg, Va., native made his first five field goal attempts after shooting 2-for-18 in his previous two games. He also scored in double figures for the first time since his 22-point outing against Iowa in December

"He was making some big plays and just felt down the stretch, 'we need him in there,'" Scheyer said.

Duke then went cold from the floor, missing 10 straight shots and not scoring for more than five minutes as Miami slowly bit into the Blue Devil lead. Fortunately for Duke, the Hurricanes went on an 11-minute stretch in which they shot 4-of-22 from the field. Scheyer’s squad maintained its foothold on the second half until Omier brought it back to a one-point game with 2:54 to play with an and-one. 

The Blue Devils looked to push the ball inside early, as Lively collected a handful of baskets and rebounds over the smaller Miami squad anchored by the 6-foot-7 sophomore Omier. Duke’s freshman snagged career-highs with 10 rebounds and five blocks. Early on, Lively’s two quick personal fouls led to graduate center Ryan Young taking his place down low, and he capitalized on his opportunity by corralling four rebounds, blocking a shot and assisting on two baskets by the break.

The combo, plus Filipowski’s reliable contributions on the glass, helped the Blue Devils out-rebound their opponents for the 15th time this season with 44 to the Hurricanes’ 38. Duke is now 13-2 while out-rebounding its opponents.

"The older you get, the more you understand how important getting rebounds, getting a loose ball, diving on the floor, getting one stop, getting back in transition defense [is]," Scheyer said, also praising Filipowski's aggressiveness while going for a loose ball late in the second half.

Coming out of the first-half under-12-minute media timeout, the Blue Devils warmed up from 3-point range, hitting back-to-back threes to push their lead to 25-20. The Hurricanes did not let the Duke lead get out of hand too fast by continuing to probe inside while also feeding the hot hand of Pack. He displayed his stroke from deep by connecting on four of his first five 3-point attempts to give Miami the lead at 31-29. Pack then missed six of his next seven attempts from the field as Duke gained control into the second half.

For the home team, the 3-point display was one of Duke’s most efficient this season as the Blue Devils continue to look to improve their scoring from deep. Meanwhile, Duke, the nation’s 13th-best free throw-shooting team, struggled to convert from the free throw line with a 3-for-7 clip in the first half. But in crunch time, the Blue Devils connected on key attempts from the stripe, finishing 9-for-15.

A quick start to the scoring involved each team’s stars early. Filipowski paced the scoring for the Blue Devils as Miami’s Pack—once a Duke target in the transfer portal—stormed ahead of the field through his touch from beyond the arc. 

Roach entered the game as Duke’s first substitution in the first half, and he finished with 27 minutes on the floor. He had missed the team’s previous three games due to a toe injury.

Duke now has a quick turnaround before going on the road to face Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. Monday.

Micah Hurewitz

Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity senior and was previously a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


Share and discuss “HOME SWEET HOME: Roach, Filipowski lead Duke men's basketball past No. 17 Miami to stay undefeated at home” on social media.