No. 8 Duke men's basketball runs the floor, dominates on both ends for comfortable win at Miami

Kyle Filipowski pounds the ball through the net on a reverse dunk in the first half against Miami.
Kyle Filipowski pounds the ball through the net on a reverse dunk in the first half against Miami.

CORAL GABLES, Fla.—Despite entering the season as the favorites in the ACC, the Blue Devils have not been at the top of the conference at any point this season after dropping their first conference game to Georgia Tech. In Coral Gables Wednesday, that finally changed.

No. 8 Duke controlled both ends of the court in an impressive 84-55 win against Miami at the Watsco Center, holding the Hurricanes to just 31.1% from the field while also shooting 51.9% on its own. Senior guard Jeremy Roach led the Blue Devils with 16 points, while sophomores Kyle Filipowski and Mark Mitchell contributed 15 each.

“I could go down the line,” head coach Jon Scheyer said of the team’s all-around performance. “It was a great team effort. [I have a] ton of respect for Miami … they have a talented team. And they're more than dangerous at home, [so I am] especially so proud of this one.”

After dominating the first half, Duke (21-5, 12-3 in the ACC) continued to impose its will defensively and shoot the ball well from the perimeter. They paired a quick stop with an even faster three, as Filipowski buried a triple at the top of the key.

However, the Blue Devils started committing unnecessary fouls — the team racked up five fouls in four minutes — that allowed the Hurricanes (15-11, 6-10) to get back into a rhythm on offense. By the time the under-12 media timeout hit, Miami was just one foul away from reaching the double bonus.

Foul trouble stymied the flow that Duke found in the first half, but did not make a major impact on the scoreboard. Any time the Hurricanes came up with a big shot or turnover, a Blue Devil was there on the other end with a play of their own

This led into a period of about three minutes in which neither team scored, which finally ended when Filipowski was fouled under the basket. Junior forward Norchad Omier jumped into the big man and was ruled for a flagrant 1.

A bad first-half start from Miami snowballed into a worse one when freshman guard Caleb Foster hit his second triple of the game from the same spot on the left wing and Jared McCain followed him up with a mean one-handed dunk. That series not only sucked any life left out of the home crowd, but further slowed a struggling Hurricane offense.

Even after two straight possessions where Miami grabbed offensive rebounds of its own, the Blue Devils were there with an answer. This time around, it was Roach. The Leesburg, Va., native responded to each of the Hurricanes’ scores with picture-perfect threes, and retook any momentum Miami had momentarily seized. 

Moments later, his third 3-pointer put Duke ahead 38-18, and by halftime the Blue Devils were comfortably in control of the game 40-23.

“Jeremy's having quietly — and for whatever reason it is quiet  — one of the big-time senior seasons for a Duke guard. Go back and look at Quinn Cook’s stats as a senior and then look at Jeremy Roach, there. I think it tells a story,” Scheyer said of his captain and the 2015 National Champion.

The Blue Devils came out of the gates as the aggressors, with Mitchell securing two offensive rebounds in the first three minutes of the game and Filipowski also crashing the glass hard. 

The duo collected five rebounds through the first six minutes, and Mitchell contributed seven of Duke’s first 10 points. The Kansas City, Kan., native searched for contact, and was rewarded with six free throws in the first seven minutes of the game.

After Mitchell checked out for a breather, it was Filipowski’s turn to shine. The 7-footer first showed his range, knocking down a transition three off an assist from the newly active Proctor. On the following possession, Filipowski showed off his size. He spun away from a double team, drove under the basket and rose for an emphatic reverse slam.

Due to the Blue Devils’ size advantage inside, Miami turned to its own strength, shooting on the perimeter. However, the Hurricanes were just 1-for-5 to start from deep and 6-for-15 from the field, including two bad long-range misses that led to a shot-clock violation.

The Hurricanes’ shooting woes paired with the Duke’s performance on the offensive glass allowed the Blue Devils to open an early double-digit lead. After junior guard Wooga Poplar missed a three, McCain missed one of his own. However, graduate center Ryan Young was there to corral the offensive rebound and kick it to a wide-open Foster. The freshman nailed it from deep, putting Duke ahead 24-14 with 8:15 left in the first half.

Fans began exiting the stadium with more than seven minutes to play after Foster and McCain made back-to-back layups that put Duke ahead by 25.

Duke will continue its road trip, this time traveling back into the state of North Carolina for a matchup against Wake Forest. In their first meeting, the Blue Devils took down the Demon Deacons 77-69 Feb. 12 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Dom Fenoglio | Assistant Blue Zone editor

Dom Fenoglio is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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