For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Duke Blue Devils have lost three consecutive games, as they fell to the Syracuse Orange 64-62 on Monday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium. All three losses have been by five points or less to programs that were unranked, and the last two have come at home.
Man Amongst Boys
Syracuse junior forward Tyler Roberson was a man amongst boys tonight, as he completely dominated the glass and willed his team to victory. Roberson finished with 14 points and an incredible 20 rebounds, 12 of which came on the offensive glass.
“Just anticipating misses and just going after everything,” said Roberson. “When you do that, good things happen.”
Roberson’s 20 rebounds is a Cameron Indoor record for a visiting player, breaking the previous record of 18 that was set back in 1957 and then duplicated in 2005 by North Carolina’s Sean May.
Balanced Scoring By Syracuse
Neither teamed shot the ball well tonight, but luckily for Syracuse they had a balanced attack from several players. Michael Gbinije, Trevor Cooney, Malachi Richardson and Roberson all finished the game with 14 points. Tyler Lydon came off the bench and scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Gbinije was a former Blue Devil before he transferred to Syracuse, and tonight he showed his old team what he is capable of. The senior forward was 6-of-11 shooting from the field including two three’s, while also dishing out nine assists. Cooney wasn’t efficient but he did knock down four three-pointers.
Syracuse finished the game shooting better from behind the arc than they did from the field. The Orange shot 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from three and only 35.2 percent from the field.
Plumlee’s Big Night All For Naught
Duke center Marshall Plumlee was a force in the paint all night on both ends of the floor. The senior led the Blue Devils with 19 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. Of those 17 rebounds, 11 of them came on the offensive glass.
Grayson Allen added 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting, while Brandon Ingram finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Luke Kennard was a no show tonight as he was held scoreless and went 0-for-9 from the field, seven of those misses coming from three.
Frustrating End For The Blue Devils
With 32 seconds left in regulation, Plumlee converted a layup to make it a 63-62 ballgame. Gbinije would get fouled and miss the front end of a one-and-one, giving the Blue Devils a chance to take the lead.
After some intentional fouls to run the clock down to 11 seconds, Grayson Allen would drive to the basket and miss tough short range shot. Duke would foul Richardson to send him to the line with 2.1 seconds. He would make the first shot and miss the second, giving the Blue Devils a chance to tie or win the game.
Matt Jones would secure the rebound and quickly run down the court. It looked as if Syracuse, with a foul to give, tried to intentionally foul Jones around half court before he could get a shot off. Well, a call wasn’t made and Jones was in the act of shooting that would’ve sent him to the line for three.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski was irate that the officials didn’t make the call and in his postgame news conference the only word that described the ending of the game was “amazing.”
Duke will head on the road and face North Carolina State on Saturday, while Syracuse will play at #13 Virginia on Saturday.