Duke dominates Syracuse in ACC play: Bagley III, Carter Jr. too much for the Orangemen in 60-44 win

Connor McKay, Contributing Writer

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     Coach Krzyzewski of the number 5 ranked Duke Blue Devils led them to a definitive win over Coach Boeheim’s Orangemen with a final score of 60-44. Playing this past Saturday, the Orangemen traveled to Cameron Indoor Stadium, where they were not able to keep up with the aggressive play style Duke boasted.

     What started as a close game, quickly became a display of Duke dominance as big performances by Duke freshmen Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. lead the Blue Devils to an early 10pt lead by the six-minute mark of the first half. Bagley had just returned from a sprained right knee, costing him the past four games. He shot spectacularly, scoring 19 points with seven rebounds as well as going 8-for-9 in field goal shooting. His partner Carter also had a great game. Carter got a double-double scoring 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. The two acted as a powerhouse for the Blue Devils offense and defense.

     For the third highest scoring team in the country, Duke as well as Syracuse, struggled with three-point attempts during the first half. Neither team was able to knock down a long ball in the first 20 minutes of play. It was clear by halftime, the score being 16-27 Duke, that the Blue Devils were playing fast and aggressive.

     Syracuse had a lot riding on this game. With a 65 percent chance of moving to tournament play with a win, it was crucial for the Orangemen to come out on top. The Orangemen made a lot of mistakes however, and simply were outplayed by the Duke offense. Syracuse was not able to adapt to the full court press during the first half, and thus never took the lead in the entire game. They also were not able take advantage of the multiple turnovers Duke had and struggled to make shots in this low scoring game, making a measly 31 percent of their shots. The Orangemen also suffered from 15 turnovers allowing Duke to make plenty of highlight plays with some thunderous dunks.

     Few Syracuse players were able to do anything against the Duke machine. Orangeman center Paschal Chukwu was able to have a decent game scoring six points and grabbing twelve rebounds. His biggest problem in this game though was avoiding foul trouble. By half time, he had racked up three fouls and fouled out of the game at the 6:45 mark in the second half.

     An area where Syracuse usually shines, the foul line, was a disaster against this Duke team. While Duke commanded the line making 14 of their 16 attempts, Syracuse put up a weak four out of six attempts. This proved to be another key area where Syracuse simply got outplayed.

     With this win, Duke’s record becomes 24-5 overall and in the ACC their record is 12-4. Syracuse on the other hand finds themselves in a tough position. With an overall record of 18-11 and 7-9 in the ACC, they are going to have to focus and really play well to finish of their two regular season games with wins if they want to get any tournament play as March quickly approaches.