SU had life in the second half, but the Blue Devils proved to be too much for the Orange to handle in front of a rowdy Cameron Indoor crowd. Syracuse falls to 18-11 on the year and 7-9 in conference play. Here’s a few quick thoughts regarding SU’s 60-44 loss in Durham.
-The Duke big men dominated Syracuse all night long. Marvin Bagley (19 points) had quite the game in his return, and he got plenty of help from Wendell Carter Jr. and Marques Bolden. The Orange had no answer for those three in the paint defensively. It was a decent start to the game inside, but Paschal Chukwu (who fouled out mid-way through the second half) was exposed as the game went on. Other than that, Syracuse looked solid defensively, not allowing a Duke three-point field goal until mid-way through the first half.
-Matt Moyer followed up a great first half with a not so great second half. He was the first reserve to come off the bench in the final twenty minutes, but his run didn’t last long after he was dunked on and then traveled on the following possession. He was featured in the Orange’s small ball lineup to close the first half with Maurek Dolezaj playing the center position. That group also played once Chukwu fouled out. Probably SU’s best five players tonight, but Duke is just too big down low for that group to be effective.
-This is the game you would have predicted at the start of the season: great defense, with an offense that is nowhere close to good enough to beat this Duke team on the road. As the game went on, it was clear how much more talent Duke had on the floor than Syracuse. Also, the Orange’s ability to hold on to the basketball (looking at you Chukwu) has been exposed over the past several games. SU had 17 turnovers in this one.
For a look at how this game changes the Orange’s tournament chances and more, check back here later for a complete recap of tonight’s game.