clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Duke Guts Syracuse By 20

Duke was more than ready for Jim Boeheim’s Orange

Syracuse v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 22: Wendell Moore Jr. #0 of the Duke Blue Devils sets the offense during the second half of their game against the Syracuse Orange at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 22, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 79-59.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Duke bounced back from Tuesday’s gut-wrenching overtime loss to Florida State with a decisive 79-59 win over Syracuse. Bounced back as in trampoline. Duke dissected Syracuse’s trademark 2-3 zone with surgical precision, shutting down a Syracuse offense that was as cold as the frozen tundra outside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke never trailed and the game was only close for a few minutes in the middle of the opening half.

Duke did have some turnover issues, 15 in all. But when Duke wasn’t turning it over, their offense was textbook. Duke had 30 made field goals and assisted on 25 of them.

Wendell Moore, Jr. had eight assists.

“It started with ball movement,” Moore said. “Our guys came out with a lot of energy, got some offensive rebounds and were ready to shoot.”

Moore added 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and was a key to holding Buddy Boeheim to a 2 for 15 shooting nightmare, 1-10 on 3s.

Moore said Duke’s 3-point defense didn’t just happen.

“It’s really just been our preparation, especially with these last few teams we played. Our main thing was just to run them off the three-point line. Especially with this team here. Their two guards, Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim, are two of the best shooters we have in our conference, two of the best scorers we have so basically on the perimeter we knew we had to come locked in early and it started with myself and Jeremy [Roach]– with those two assignments we knew we needed to win that matchup.”

Roach returned the compliment.

“I think Wendell did a heck of a job on him [Buddy Boeheim] Just knowing your personnel, knowing your scout. Knowing what he likes to do, knowing tendencies. I think that was a big thing for us. They love to run those floppy actions so just knowing to stay on top of that, knowing to go over the screen because he likes to come off and shoot the ball. Try not to foul him too. Wendell did a great job of not fouling him on his jumpers too, so give a lot of credit to him.”

Duke played without guard Trevor Keels, out with a calf injury. But Roach regained his starting spot. Roach was 2 for 10 from the field, the only rotation player to shoot below 50 percent for Duke. But he had a career-high nine assists, against one turnover and played solid defense.

Sometimes that great ball movement resulted in a layup. But more often it resulted in a good look from downtown. Syracuse wants to lure teams into a 3-point shooting contest but not today. Duke hit 14 -37 from beyond the arc, Syracuse 5-19. a woeful 17 percent.

A.J. Griffin gave Duke a 6-0 lead with two early bombs. It was 11-2 before the visitors found their bearings.

Mike Krzyzewski gave Griffin credit for staking Duke to that early lead.

”AJ is our best shooter and I’d really like for him to be more aggressive. I think AJ keeps it really simple. He’s a really easy guy to play with because he keeps spacing, he plays defense, he makes simple passes, and today he did a really good job on [Cole] Swider. He’s a threat, and we have got to keep getting to know each other again.”

Syracuse made their only real run after that, a 13-5 surge that cut Duke’s lead to a single point, at 16-15.

But Moore assisted Paolo Banchero for a layup, Roach assisted Mark Williams for a three-point play and Moore assisted Griffin for another 3-pointer and it was 24-15.

Syracuse never got closer than six after that as Griffin, Roach and Joey Baker added 3-pointers to Duke’s first-half total of seven; Griffin had four 3-pointers in the opening stanza.

Still, there was always the possibility that Syracuse would get hot from outside and make a game of it.

Duke refused to let that happen.

Syracuse got to within 13 a couple of times before Duke turned on the afterburners. The lead reached 31 points at 72-41 and 77-46.

Mike Krzyzewski started emptying his bench at 77-46 and Syracuse had a meaningless late run to cut their final deficit to a somewhat more respectable 20 points.

Banchero had a modest scoring game but deserves considerable credit for his work in traffic, 13 rebounds and four assists, while helping to break down Syracuse’s zone.

“Yeah, just trying to figure part of the zone – just catching it in the middle and then making reads trying to find the open guy and not doing anything too special. We just threw it to the open player and tried to get guys good looks, and obviously looking for my shot when it was there.”

Jim Boeheim, Jr.and Jesse Edwards led Syracuse with 12 points each.

Duke shot 45 percent from the field, Syracuse 35 percent and the Blue Devils won the battle of the boards 45-35.

Duke now is 5-2 in the ACC, 15-3 overall, tied in the loss column for the ACC lead.

Syracuse drops to 3-5 and 9-10.

Krzyzewski said Duke is still getting better.

“We don’t have a lot of guys, but we’re getting there. Along with that is the conditioning of knowing one another, being with one another on the court, not just playing Fortnite or doing stuff when you’re in isolation in your room. It’s coming along, we just have to run our own race. I’m not paying attention to anybody except the team we’re playing next, and my team obviously. We’re going to run our race, keep getting better, and see what happens.”


Player Of The Game vs. Syracuse

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Wendell Moore
    (151 votes)
  • 47%
    AJ Griffin
    (241 votes)
  • 10%
    Paolo Banchero
    (53 votes)
  • 1%
    Mark Williams
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    Jeremy Roach
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    Keenan Worthington
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Joey Baker
    (13 votes)
  • 0%
    Theo John
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Jaylen Blakes
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Michael Savarino
    (9 votes)
504 votes total Vote Now