Coach K and the 6th ranked Duke Blue Devils bounced back Friday night, upending the Knights 76-54. This contest marked Bellarmine’s first Division 1 game for the program.
The Knights put up a fight in the first half, but conditioning, size, and athleticism led Duke to cruise throughout the second half in route to a 22-point win.
First Half Notables:
- Jalen Johnson received 2 fouls within a 3-minute span to begin the game – his second consecutive game being benched due to foul trouble in the first half.
- The lefty, Jaemyn Brakefield went 3-3 in the first half (4-4 for the game) from downtown, creating a much needed spark off the bench to propel Duke to a first half lead.
- Bellarmine made it interesting, going on a 9-2 scoring run to bring the score to within 6 at the 4:07 mark. Moreover, with it being their first D-1 game inside Cameron, they kept the game to within 10 at halftime.
- Duke started the game with full court traps – pressuring the Knights 94-feet, causing complete havoc led by senior Jordan Goldwire. What changed the momentum was Bellarmine moving the ball out of the traps, getting into their half-court sets to initiate their offense and on the other end continuously clogging the lane, playing off Goldwire, forcing him to shoot the 3 (Allah Tre Jones beginning of last season).
How Duke got the lead?
Duke’s size and front court were pivotal – tallying 31 points, 14 rebounds and 7 blocks between Hurt, Williams, and Tape’.
Why Bellarmine stayed within striking distance?
The Knights packing the lane, forcing Duke to shoot from the outside. 9 turnovers, including multiple charges, swung momentum in the Knights favor for periods throughout the first half.
2nd Half Notables:
- Matthew Hurt doing work…Back to back 3’s, including a heat check three, helped Duke extend its lead to 19 at the under 12-minute timeout.
- The Knights continued leaving Matt alone from downtown in the second half, and boy did he make them pay shooting 6 of 8 from deep. He finished with 24 points and 6 boards. The six 3 pointers match a career high for Hurt.
- Senior Jordan Goldwire finished with 7 points, 6 assists.
- Most impressive was the 7-footer Mark Williams, who filled up the stat sheet with 5 points, 4 blocks, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
- Duke got the ball inside and executed its game plan. It was a balanced inside-out attack for a Blue Devils’ squad that will continue to improve.
What’s wrong with Wendell Moore?
Moore seems to be in a funk – shooting 1-7 from the field and 1 of 13 in the last two contests inside Cameron. This is more of a confidence issue with Wendell. He’s forcing the action at times and not playing with confidence. Wendell needs to allow the game to come to him and force the action with his defense.
Next up for Duke:
6th ranked Duke takes on 5th ranked Illinois Tuesday night in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge at 9:30 P.M. on ESPN.