Duke overcame a barrage of 3-pointers—and I do mean a barrage—to defeat The Citadel 107-81 Monday night. The win keeps the fifth-ranked Blue Devils undefeated at 6-0, while dropping the visitors to 3-2.
Duke never trailed. But the lead was in single digits in the early minutes of the second half at 57-48 before Duke’s superior talent finally broke The Citadel, a 10-0 run giving Duke a 19-point lead that was never threatened.
The game had a surreal opening. Minutes into the game Citadel coach Duggar Baucom collapsed on the Citadel bench. Acting head coach Jack Castleberry said after the game that Baucom’s prognosis was “positive.”
Duke led 9-2 after Wendell Moore, Jeremy Roach and Trevor Keels hit 3-pointers. But Duke was never going to win a 3-point shootout against a team that specializes in that particular mode of scoring.
“Shoot a lot of threes and hope they go in,” Castleberry said,” of his team’s philosophy. “There’s some nights when it doesn’t look like that. We try to recruit guys who can shoot, try to share the basketball, try to get analytically-driven shots.”
Duke extended its first-half lead to nine at 22-13, 10 at 26-16, then 11 points, then 12.
But it’s hard to get separation from a team that knocks down 10 of 19 3-point shots in the first half.
And it wasn’t just one guy. Five different Bulldogs hit a triple in the opening half, led by Hayden Brown’s 3 for 4 and Rudy Fitzgibbons’ 3 for 3.
Mike Krzyzewski said he didn’t think Duke played bad defense against the Bulldogs but rather that they just shot really well.
But Duke also did lots of things well. Duke was 15 for 16 from the foul line in the first half, outrebounded the visitors 24-17 and turned it over only three times.
“When you have five-star dudes, you’re not going to turn the ball over,” Castleberry acknowledged. We don’t have the size and the length to be able to bother them at a tremendous level.”
Duke ended the half up 52-42, with Paolo Banchero leading the way with 13 points and five rebounds.
Duke broke it open early in the second half, with some tremendous ball-movement and passing setting up the breakaway. Keels, Moore, even Mark Williams had highlight-reel assists.
Duke ended the game with 25 assists and those same three turnovers.
“I mentioned to my staff during the game that we were really being strong with the ball, really being physical,” Mike Krzyzewski said. “But I would not have guessed we only had three turnovers. I knew we shared the ball beautifully in the second half. There were some great passes. Twenty-five and three is very, very good.”
Krzyzewski also noted that Duke was 27 for 29 from the foul line. Duke was only 8 of 30 from beyond the arc but Krzyzewski said he thought Duke got decent shots.
Moore said this kind of chemistry was forged off the court.
“We do so much together off the court, whether it’s watching other basketball games, watching football games or just hanging out. You’re always going to find a group of us together and I think that translates onto the court.”
The Citadel ended up hitting 18 of 34 from beyond the arc but it was nowhere near what they needed to pull off the upset.
“We definitely had to lock in on the defensive end,” Moore said. “We did a great job with the scouting. They had 18 3s but that’s what they do. But we knew that if we could limit other ways of scoring, we would have a better chance of winning.”
Joey Baker also cited “preparation just coming into a game, knowing a team’s strength and what they’re looking to do. They wanted as many possessions as they could get so it was a pretty up-and-down pace for us, so it was a fun time.”
Moore came close to another triple double, 22 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal and zero turnovers. Banchero had a season-best 28 points, with 8 rebounds, 6 assists and again, no turnovers.
Williams (14 points, 7 rebounds), Roach (10 points,) Keels (11 points, 3 steals), Baker (9 points, 4 rebounds) and Theo John (8 points, 4 rebounds) also made major contributions.
In addition to the passing and the foul shooting, Duke outrebounded the Bulldogs 46-29, with 27 second-chance points. Castleberry cited this as one of the key’s to his team’s defeat.
So, five home games in 11 days, all double-digit wins against mid-majors leading into Gonzaga Friday and Ohio State next week.
Did Duke get what it needed?
Krzyzewski seemed to think so.
“I do think we’re playing good defense. The offense takes longer because with so many new players, young players, they’re still trying to find out who they are. It’s going to take a little bit. But as long as we play good defense, as long as we play hard” he said, letting the rest of the sentence fade away but with the implications obvious.
- Moore, Banchero lead Duke men’s basketball past The Citadel’s 3-point attack
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- The Citadel coach Duggar Baucom collapses on the court in Monday’s game at Duke
- Citadel associate coach Jack Castleberry comments on head coach Duggar Baucom, following medical emergency
- Duke’s Paolo Banchero says he has no regrets after aiding and abetting DWI charge
- Citadel coach Duggar Baucom collapses, taken to hospital during Duke home basketball game
- The Citadel coach Duggar Baucom collapses on court early in game vs. Duke, taken to hospital for evaluation
- No. 5 Duke rolls after Citadel coach taken to hospital
- Watch: The Citadel vs Duke Men’s Basketball Highlight (2021-22)
- Big game allows Duke’s Paolo Banchero to “feel good again” following off-court issue
- Mike Krzyzewski comments on Citadel coach Duggar Baucom
- BOX SCORE (PDF)
- POSTGAME NOTES (PDF)
- COACH K QUOTES (PDF)
- DUKE PLAYER QUOTES (PDF)
- OPPONENT QUOTES (PDF)
- PHOTO GALLERY
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