And one: Filipowski, Duke men's basketball snag nervy home win against Notre Dame

Dariq Whitehead pulls up for a three against Notre Dame.
Dariq Whitehead pulls up for a three against Notre Dame.

After each Duke men's basketball game this season, check back here for the Player of the Game and more. The Blue Devils returned home to edge a tight one against Notre Dame, and the Blue Zone is here to break down the conference matchup:

One player: Kyle Filipowski

Last Saturday evening against Virginia, Kyle Filipowski put up a donut in the points column, shooting 0-for-6 from the field while committing five turnovers. Against Notre Dame Tuesday night, with former Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on the baseline, the freshman center wrote a different story. Filipowski led his team with 22 points by shooting 9-for-16 from the field, landing him his third 20-point performance this season. The first four Blue Devil points of the game, along with six rebounds, three assists and a block by the contest's end, belong to the seven-time ACC Rookie of the Week. Filipowski, being the only Duke player to score in double figures, played a large role in the Blue Devils' victory. The 7-foot center scored on Duke’s first two possessions of both halves, including a euro step through the paint to put Duke up six with less than five minutes to go. Even when the Blue Devil offense was slow-moving, Filipowski provided a spark. On top of that, he sunk all four of his attempted free throws—equal to Duke's final margin of victory.

One word: Dicey

Freshman forward Mark Mitchell rolled the dice with 12 seconds left in the game against the Fighting Irish. His risk was rewarded with a perfect corner three that put the Blue Devils up four. The game was not decided, however, until the final buzzer sounded following two made free throws by freshman Tyrese Proctor. Although Duke led for the entirety of the second half—at one point by as much as 14 points—the game spent much of its time up in the air before falling in the Blue Devils' favor. Neither team led by more than five points until just under three minutes remained in the first half, when Duke went up 27-19 after freshman forward Dariq Whitehead landed one from beyond the arc. From then on, Duke started to build a lead that was eventually challenged by a convincing Notre Dame comeback campaign.

Despite their eventual win, the Blue Devils were clumsy at points. The Fighting Irish, led by a 25-point night from guard Dane Goodwin, chipped away at the Blue Devil lead. Despite the uncertain trajectory of the contest, the home team found a way to hold on. Junior captain Jeremy Roach grabbed an acrobatic offensive rebound and turned it into an elegant fadeaway jumper to put Duke up six with 10:29 to go. Later, Roach executed a drive-and-dish to find Mitchell open in the corner for the clutch 3-pointer that sealed the win. Ultimately, head coach Jon Scheyer’s team held on and secured another ACC win.

One stat: 13-0 at home

Perhaps the saying "home sweet home" stands true. If there was any question that the Blue Devils this season are homebodies, their current 13-0 record in Durham can provide the answer. Scheyer now holds the ACC record for the longest winning streak at home by a first-year head coach. No team this season has been able to defeat the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. But the road has not been as nice, handing Duke all six of its ACC losses and a pair at neutral sites. There are still games to play outside of Durham before the season wraps; the Blue Devils will visit Syracuse this Saturday and then North Carolina in early March to close the 2022-23 campaign. Interspersed are three home contests against Louisville, Virginia Tech and N.C. State.


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