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Duke 79, Syracuse 59: Blue Devils bury Orange with 3-point attack

Syracuse falls below .500 on the season after a blowout loss at Duke.

Syracuse v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

DURHAM, N.C. — In the final meeting between Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team suffered a blowout loss to the Duke Blue Devils by a final score of 79-59.

Syracuse didn’t have many answers for the Blue Devils on either end of the floor as Duke shot 14-37 (38%) from beyond the arc while Syracuse shot 5-29 (17%).

Jim Boeheim went with his usual starters of Joe Girard, Buddy Boeheim, Cole Swider, Jimmy Boeheim and Jesse Edwards. Duke was without starter Trevor Keels, who injured his calf earlier in the week against Florida State.

Out of the gate, Syracuse turned the ball over on its first two possessions, leading to two AJ Griffin 3s. Duke then went inside and Mark Williams scored twice while Paolo Banchero scored on an and-1 to put Duke up 11-2 early. Boeheim called timeout just 3 minutes and 22 seconds into the game.

Syracuse was able to get on the board after a Girard floater with an Edwards tip-slam as well as a pair of Cole Swider free throws, but Duke still led 14-6 by the second media timeout. On a whacky play, a Duke pitch ahead to a corner shooter went off the head of Ted Valentine, resulting in a turnover, initiating a media timeout.

Symir Torrence was the first substitute of the game for the Orange and the team responded — with an up-tempo pace — going on a 9-0 run as Torrence drove by Joey Baker to start the run. Edwards found space inside for a slam, Jimmy Boeheim connected on a triple and Edwards scored again inside to make the score 16-15. That’s as close as Syracuse would get the rest of the way.

Paolo Banchero ended the run on a nice move inside and then Mark Williams drew Edwards’ second foul on an and-one at the 6:57 mark. He made the free throw to make the score 21-15 Duke. Edwards sat the rest of the half.

Anselem replaced him, but after a travel on his first catch, Boeheim turned to his senior center.

“Can you play?” Boeheim queried Bourama Sidibe on the sideline.

Sidibe answered in the affirmative and went to the scorer’s table.

Meantime, Girard made his first three of the game and had a few words for the Cameron Crazies. But Duke stayed hot from three as AJ Griffin made back-to-back 3s and Jeremy Roach made one for good measure to put Duke up ten just before the last media timeout of the half.

Torrence converted on a tough reverse layup, but once again Duke responded with a deep ball, this time from Joey Baker, to make it 34-22. Williams scored inside for the Blue Devils to close the half as a final Buddy Boeheim heave couldn’t quite have the Elijah Hughes effect. Buddy was held scoreless in the first half.

Duke went into the break with a 36-22 lead after shooting 7-15 (60%) from deep as Syracuse shot just 2-16 (13%) and winning the points off of turnovers battle 13-7.

Syracuse v Duke Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Both teams struggled to make shots to start the second and Edwards whistled for his third foul just two minutes in. Swider scored on a pair of mid-range shots and a Jimmy three made it 40-27, but it was all downhill for Syracuse after that.

Too many isolation 3s led to misses and Duke cashed in on the other end with scoring inside and out as Williams dunked off lobs and Moore hit two deep 3s to put Duke up 22.

Buddy scored his first points of the game ten minutes into the second half on a corner three but by that point it was far too late. As the game waned, Duke continued its salvo from range and built a 30-point cushion with Griffin and Moore doing most of the damage from outside while Roach made two and Baker knocked down three 3s.

Torrence did some good things with extended second half run; he found Jimmy around the rim and Edwards on a lob on one occasion. He finished with four points, six assists and two rebounds but by and large Syracuse had a really difficult time scoring the ball and stopping the Duke attack.

With Syracuse down 77-51 with under four minutes to play, John Bol Ajak checked in for the first time. The Orange cut it to 20 late on a few 3s, but never seriously threatened in the second half. With the loss, Syracuse fell to 9-10 on the season and 3-5 in league play.

Next Up

Syracuse travels to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to take on the Panthers. That game tips at 8 p.m. and airs on the ACCN.