No. 4 Duke Beats Syracuse 80-72 in ACC Game

basketball player dribbling ball past anotherThis past Saturday the 14th of Feb. 2015 and on Valentine’s Day we had the pleasure of watching the NCAA BB game on ESPN with the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils 22-3 playing the Syracuse Orange 16-9 both members of the ACC Conference. The tip-off for the game was at 6:15PM ET and played at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

The Blue Devils won the game over the Orangemen 80-72 but the win did not come until the 2nd half of the game. Syracuse went to their locker room at half-time leading Duke 39-36 at the half. In the second half the Blue Devils managed to outscore the Orange 44-33 resulting in the 80-8-72 win for Duke in this ACC match-up!

Leading the scoring for the Blue Devils was Center-Okafor who had 23 points with 13 rebounds, Guard-Cook with 17 points 3 rebounds and 5 assists, Guard-Winslow with 12 points 7 rebounds and 3 assists, and Guard-Jones with 11 points 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

In this game the Duke Blue Devils need a stellar performance by their freshman center Okafor, and he did exactly that as he had his 9th double-double of the NCAA BB 2014-15 seasons for Duke. He surely outplayed his opponent Syracuse center Christmas before a sellout crowd at the Carrier Dome in New York. Okafor struggled in the 1st half only making 3 of his 8 shot attempts, but in the 2nd half he manage to connect on all 7 of his shots attempted as aided Duke to win their fifth consecutive game, and are now 9-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Okafor, the freshman center completed his 10th game in which he has scored at least 20 points in the games this 2014-15 season, and that puts him in the Duke history book at 3rd for a freshman with 20 point games.

For Syracuse leading in the scoring was their Forward-Gbinije who had a game high 27 points with 6 rebounds and 4 assists, Forward-Roberson with 19 points 10 rebounds and 1 assist, Center-Christmas with 11 points 6 rebounds and 5 assists and Guard-Cooney with 11 points 5 rebounds and 1 assist.

Some ten days ago the Syracuse team self-imposed a ban, for the Men’s BB team which means they have only six more game before the ACC tournament in which they will not participate. The ban is a result of their case before the NCAA for Infractions Committee that is still pending. Despite that in this game at the Carrier Dome they had a sellout crowd of some 35,446 people.

The Blue Devil’s and Orangemen game had 2 of the top ranked ACC big men in college basketball with the Orangemen’s senior forward Christmas and the Blue Devils freshman center Okafor. Both players this season have average 18 points per game, and Okafor is leading the ACC with his 66.5 percent shooting average.

The Duke defense task was to go hard an Christmas early in the game, and even as Duke fell behind in the 1st half 18-12 their strategy appeared to be successful. Meanwhile, Gbinije who played an average year at Duke before he transferred to Syracuse, shocked the Blue Devils as he connected with 3-3pointers in less than 2 minutes, breaking a tie score in the game and giving Syracuse the lead at 27-18 in the 1st half, still with 6:18 left to play.

If you Bet on NCAA basketball at a Sportsbook, you may be interested in some statistics of these two teams in the game: the Orange made 48.3 percent of their 1st half shots, while Duke made 38.8 percent in the 1st half. The table turned in the 2nd half as the Orange made 38.6 and Duke made 61.9 percent of their shots in the 2nd and final half of the game. On Wednesday the 18th of Feb. 2015 Louisville visits Syracuse and North Carolina visits Duke.