And one: Hot shooting, defensive intensity propel No. 8 Duke to dominant win against Miami

Jeremy Roach scored a season-high four 3-pointers against Miami.
Jeremy Roach scored a season-high four 3-pointers against Miami.

After each Duke men's basketball game this season, check back here for the Player of the Game and more. No. 8 Duke continued its winning ways with an 81-57 throttling of Miami on the road, and the Blue Zone is here to preview the action:

One player: Jeremy Roach

It was a phenomenal performance for senior Jeremy Roach, whose sixteen points led the No. 8 ranked Duke Blue Devils to a comfortable win over the Miami Hurricanes. Roach was the driving force behind many runs, draining threes left and right to help the team build momentum in their efforts to pull away. The Hurricanes were spread quite thin throughout, as shots were falling for practically everyone on the Blue Devil side. Even so, Roach was a cut above. His movement allowed him to create an open look for himself or for a teammate, and he was great from range. He added three assists and three boards to his line, a complete performance that exemplified the squad’s play as a whole. It was indeed a team win, with five Duke players reaching double figures on the night, but it was Roach’s presence and shot creation that ultimately allowed his teammates to shine in this lopsided victory.

One word: Dominance

Requiring little time to settle in, the Blue Devils pulled away quickly at the Watsco Center. Spurred on by nine unanswered points from Roach, Duke carved out a 20-point lead with three minutes left in the first half and would maintain that double-digit advantage until the break. It was arguably the best first-half showing from the Blue Devils this season, with the team emanating an air of confidence throughout. They would pick up right where they left off in the second, slowly but surely widening the gap. 

When the game finally was headed towards its conclusion, Duke had emptied its bench and owned a dominant 30-point lead. The team did not let its foot off the gas for even a minute, pulling the last starters with only two minutes to go even though the game was firmly in hand. After logging such a complete performance on both sides of the ball, Duke will undoubtedly be walking into Winston Salem, N.C., this weekend with the utmost confidence. 

One stat: 45% from three

Put simply, it was the 3-pointer that won the game for the Blue Devils. Duke was lights out from the floor against Miami, especially from deep. Led by Roach and his four threes on six shots, the Devils would go on to drain thirteen on the night at a 45% clip. When this is compared to the Hurricanes’ abysmal 24% from beyond the arc, it becomes clear where the thirty-point gap can be sourced. Furthermore, this performance from deep was logged on a night when freshman guard Jared McCain — arguably Duke’s best shooter — was only able to knock down one three on six attempts. Following his scorching performance against Florida State, it was reassuring to see his teammates pick up any slack in the box score to ease some of his burden. If anything, however, this is more of a testament to the team’s overall improvement from deep rather than any inconsistency on the part of McCain. If the Blue Devils can continue to hone these shots and knock them down with this degree of efficiency, there are few teams that will be able to slow them down.


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