Duke Survives The Virginia Test
The big game in ACC hoops this week was last night’s matchup between #8 Duke and #16 Virginia. Although Duke was at home, Virginia came into the game winners of 12 consecutive games. The game delivered everything that was expected, with Duke only narrowly defeating Virginia, 61-58.
One of the key aspects of this game was going to be whether Duke could establish a fast-paced tempo or whether Virginia’s defense-first philosophy would win out. Ultimately, while Virginia was able to establish the tempo, Duke still won the the low-scoring affair.
Virginia actually started hot, taking a quick 5-0 lead. But Duke recovered quickly to take an 8-7 lead around the first TV timeout. The two teams battled back and forth in the first half, with the lead changing hands several times. Virginia held the lead at halftime 32-28. But 38-38 would be the last point at which Duke would not have the lead. Over the next several minutes, Duke went on a 17-6 run. Virginia chipped away at that lead to make it 61-58 in the final seconds, even missing a few attempts to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Duke was led by a balanced attack with five players scoring between 9 and 12 points, led by Mason Plumlee’s 12 points. Virginia’s offensive output was dominated by Mike Scott’s 23 points. Scott also added 9 rebounds. Unfortunately, Virginia was hampered by an off night by Sammy Zeglinski, who was 0 for 8 from the field, with five of those attempts being three-pointers.
Both teams are now 14-2. Virginia will get a full week off before traveling to Georgia Tech. Duke travels to Clemson on Sunday.