How do you beat Syracuse’s infamous 2-3 zone defense that extends beyond the perimeter and traps on the sidelines? The Duke Blue Devils showed us Saturday afternoon – bouncing back in an emphatic way from Tuesday’s loss to Florida State, defeating the Syracuse Orange 79-59.
Coming off an overtime thriller in Tallahassee, Duke was due for a comfortable win. The Blue Devils put on a performance inside Cameron – hitting 14-37 from downtown (the most threes they’ve had in conference play), winning the rebound battle and limiting second half turnovers. Duke looked balanced, assertive, and aggressive – heading to the break with a 14-point lead and never looking back.
Four starters finished in double figures – Banchero, Williams, Moore and Griffin all had 15. Jeremy Roach had a career high 9 assists. The Blue Devils’ 25 assists on 30 made fields was a season high and their defense limited the ACC’s fourth best scorer, Buddy Boeheim who went scoreless until the 9:27 minute mark in the second half, to just seven points on 2-15 shooting from the floor.
Coach K managed a textbook offensive scheme against the 2-3 zone with Duke early and often feeding the middle to Banchero and Moore, who kicked out to the open shooters throughout the perimeter. When Duke hits 14 three-point shots, led by AJ Griffin who is shooting 45 percent on the season, they are hard to beat.