For the Player of the Game and more information following each Duke men’s basketball game this season, check back here. The Blue Zone is here to break down the conference matchup as the Blue Devils travelled back home to defeat Notre Dame in a close game:
Kyle Filipowski, one participant
Kyle Filipowski scored zero points last Saturday night against Virginia, shooting 0 for 6 from the field and making five turnovers. The rookie centre told a different tale on Tuesday night against Notre Dame with former Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on the baseline. Filipowski led his team in scoring with 22 points on 9 of 16 field goal attempts, giving him three 20-point games already this year. The seven-time ACC Rookie of the Week contributed the game’s opening four Blue Devil points as well as six rebounds, three assists, and a block overall.
Filipowski, the lone Duke player to reach double figures in scoring, was crucial to the Blue Devils’ triumph. Including a euro step through the paint to give Duke a six-point lead with less than five minutes remaining, the 7-foot centre scored on Duke’s first two possessions of each half. Filipowski provided a spark even when the Blue Devil offence was sluggish. Additionally, he made all four of his attempted free throws, which was identical to Duke’s final win margin.
Dicey in a nutshell
With 12 seconds remaining in the game against the Fighting Irish, rookie forward Mark Mitchell took a chance. A flawless corner three from him gave the Blue Devils a four-point lead in return for his risk.
Tyrese Proctor, a freshman, scored two free throws to tie the game, but it wasn’t over until the final buzzer. While the game was in the balance for the most of the second half, with Duke leading by as many as 14 points at one point, it ultimately went in the Blue Devils’ favour. Neither side had a lead of more than five points until little under three minutes left in the first half, when Dariq Whitehead, a freshman forward, made a three-pointer to give Duke a 27-19 lead. After that, Duke began to extend their advantage, which was finally threatened by a powerful Notre Dame comeback effort.
The Blue Devils struggled at times, although ultimately winning. Guard Dane Goodwin led the Fighting Irish, which made inroads into the Blue Devil advantage behind his 25-point performance. The host side managed to stay in the game despite the unpredictable course of the match. With 10:29 remaining, junior captain Jeremy Roach made an amazing fadeaway jump shot off of an offensive rebound to give Duke a six-point lead. Later, Roach completed a drive-and-dish to locate Mitchell free in the corner for the vital 3-pointer that gave the team the victory. In the end, Jon Scheyer’s side managed to hang on and earn another ACC victory.
One figure: 13-0 at home.
The adage “home dear home” may be accurate. The Blue Devils’ current 13-0 record in Durham may give the answer if there was any doubt that they are a home team this season. The longest home winning streak by a first-year head coach is currently held by Scheyer in the ACC. The Blue Devils have not been beaten at Cameron Indoor Stadium by any team this year. However, Duke has suffered all six of its ACC defeats and two games on neutral grounds due to a worse than ideal route. Three of the home games are against N.C., Virginia Tech, and Louisville. State.