The start of this game certainly wasn't what Duke had in mind as Portland
matched Duke step for step and actually had a 17-13 lead.Â It didn't last
too long though. Fueled by 10-0 and 13-0 runs, and a 26-3 overall run, Duke blew
the game open after a sluggish first eight minutes. Coach K said after the game
that Duke didn't do so well in the first 12 minutes but in the last 8 he guessed
they forced 12 turnovers (with 14 for the half).Â Duke pulled away for a
52-28 halftime lead, and for all intents and purposes, the game was over.Â
But for the first part of the game, Portland was a certified pain in the ass,
and that was something they can probably build on: they didn't back down from
the #1 team in the country.
Other than the sluggish start, the alarming part of the game was Jason
William's injury: sustaining an elbow that the Duke announcers said was
certainly not intentional, Williams left the court and took 5 stitches in his
eyelid.Â He came back out for the second half and told Coach K that he had
too much energy not to play.
Among other strong points, Duke did a great job of getting the ball inside to
Boozer, and in turn he took advantage of his opportunities, shooting 11-11 (with
a few rangier shots thrown in as well). Boozer said on the radio that he was
"really pissed off" about Jason's injury and that it fired the team
Another nice thing in this game was the lack of academic casualties. December
is always a scary time at Duke because you never know for sure if everyone will
make it through exams, and there's always at least one rumor about someone being
in trouble.Â We were pleased to hear Frank Bassett was in the lockerroom
with Jason.Â Anyone who knows Bassett's work will tell you that Jason could
not have been in better hands.
Looking at the box score, a few things jump out, notably Nate James' 4
assists.Â That's pretty solid for Nate.Â Williams had 5 despite his
limited playing time. Sweet played 8 minutes and got 4 boards, or one every two
minutes, and as Barry Jacobs will tell you, that's pretty good.Â Not
surprisingly, being the hometown guy, Mike Dunleavy got the most minutes, at 36,
and had a solid statisical game, shooting 6-12, 4-6 from the line, and 2
Unfortunately, Nick Horvath is still not playing, which is really too bad, as
these are the games he'd be using to improve.
When Duke played Temple in the Philadelphia rematch, Duke drew the biggest
college audience in Pennsylvania history. They repeated that in Oregon, drawing
15,341 to the Rose Garden. Every game after this one will be televised.