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Duke Hammers Wake Forest 90-59

No close game this year - Duke dominated from wire to wire.

Wake Forest v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 11: Jordan Goldwire #14 of the Duke Blue Devils drives against Torry Johnson #11 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Duke went back to full beat-down mode Saturday night in Cameron, thrashing Wake Forest 90-59.

Duke seized control of the game early on the offensive end and used defense, balance and depth to maintain control throughout the game.

Duke scored on its first four possessions, including 3-pointers by Tre Jones and Matthew Hurt, to take a 10-5 lead. Torry Johnson - he’s a grad-student transfer from Northern Arizona -scored Wake’s first six points and the Deacons were only down 15-9 when Oliver Sarr hit a 3-pointer.

But from that point Duke’s defense simply suffocated Wake’s offense. Duke challenged every shot, every dribble, every pass.

Full disclosure. It helped Duke that Wake played without Chaudee Brown, out with a foot injury. That put extra pressure on senior Brandon Childress and Duke made his last trip to Cameron a miserable one indeed; zero points, 4 turnovers, 4 assists, 6 missed shots.

This is a guy who came into the contest averaging 16 points per game.

“They’re hurting with Brown out,” Mike Krzyzewski said. “He’s one of the better players in the league. . . . With Brown not being out there you could concentrate a little bit more on him [Childress]. It wasn’t just one guy. Our big guy, whoever it was when they were setting ball screens . . . and the pressure that Tre [Jones] and JGold [Jordan Goldwire] put on him it was tough for him to get an open look.”

“We just tried to make it difficult for him,” Goldwire added. “We knew he was their main guy.”

Losing coach Danny Manning credited Duke for the job they did on his key guy.

“I thought they maintained a lot of pressure on him. But that’s par for the course for us. We know teams are going to scheme to take Brandon out and we’re going to have to have other guys handle the ball and get us into our offensive sets and that didn’t happen enough tonight. And Brandon has to do a better job of getting his opportunities.”

Duke didn’t get a lot of offense from freshmen posts Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt, who combined for 13 points.

But Manning acknowledged that the extra attention his team paid to Carey left other Duke players open.

“They had a lot of guys knock down 3s but a part of the reason they got those shots is because of the attention we paid to him.”

Krzyzewski cited Duke’s ability to turn defense into offense.

“We were pushing it and sharing it. Tre’s playing at a really high level because he’s looking for his shot too. He’s the best guy in the country at passing ahead. So, if our guys run, they’re going to get hit.”

Jones scored Duke’s first five points and continued to look for his shot; he ended with 23 points in 27 minutes even sitting out much of the second half of the one-sided game.

He even got another end-of-the-half stick-backs.

“As a point guard, I’m trying to set up our offense,” Jones said. “Whatever is the best shot for our offense each possession. I’m just trying to read how the defense is playing and how they’re guarding certain guys. Having him [Goldwire] handling the ball gives me a break.”

Duke got first half-3 pointers from Jones, Hurt, Cassius Stanley, Jack White and two from Joey Baker, along with those fast-break baskets.

Curiously Duke shot 60 percent (6-10) on 3s in the first half and 33 percent (3-9 from the line).

The half ended with Duke up 49-23. Carey and Jones extended the lead to 30 right off the bat. Duke lost its focus for a bit and saw the lead shrink to 21, at 59-38 but it was a momentary blip. Duke built the lead up to 35 at 90-55 before settling for the final margin of 31.

Duke’s defensive dominance was total. Duke had more steals (11) than Wake Forest had assists (8). Add in 8 Duke blocks, 17 Wake Forest turnovers and 42 percent Deacon shooting and you have a recipe for a blow-out.

“We try to take teams out of what they do,” White summed up and “obviously we were able to get some steals and easy buckets in transition. Our team is so versatile. . . . It must be hard to scout us. Everyone is talented, everyone can help us win. That must be frustrating for other teams to have to face so many guys ready and hungry to come in and play defense.”


Jones was joined in double figures by Stanley (16), White (11), Baker (11) and Goldwire (10). Goldwire led Duke with 6 assists, one more than Jones and led Duke with 30 minutes played. Seven Duke players had at least 3 rebounds, as Duke outrebounded Wake 39-32, while turning it over only 9 times and hitting 11-of-23 from beyond the arc, with Jones and Baker connecting three times each.

Carey and White led Duke with 6 rebounds.

Krzyzewski said there is no timeline for Wendell Moore’s return.

The win kept alive a lot of streaks. Duke is 5-0 in the ACC and has won 9 straight overall. Duke has won 11 straight against Wake Forest, 19 of 20, 22 straight in Cameron. The win was Duke’s 900th in Cameron.

Don’t look now but White is 5-for-8 on 3s over his last 4 games.

White spoke briefly about the horrific fires in his native Australia. He says the fires are about an hour from his home and he doesn’t personally know anyone impacted, adding “it’s been awesome to see people donating and spreading awareness and trying to do something because everything helps.”


Player Of The Game vs. Wake Forest

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Matthew Hurt
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Vernon Carey
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Cassius Stanley
    (14 votes)
  • 6%
    Jordan Goldwire
    (34 votes)
  • 86%
    Tre Jones
    (458 votes)
  • 0%
    Joey Baker
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Justin Robinson
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Javin DeLaurier
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Jack White
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Alex O’ Connell
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Mike Buckmire
    (5 votes)
532 votes total Vote Now