Live blogging the game tonight. The crowd looks excited. Nice announcement by the Daemons’ home announcer. It feels like an NBA game. Let’s go Duke!
15:42 - All Henderson in the first minute. Out jumps 7-footer for tip, gets the first steal and gets the first board and put back. Three minutes in, defense, defense and more defense, by both teams. Sweet move by Teague giving Wake a 6-4 lead. So far, the kind of game we expected. Tough D, both teams trying to figure out what they can do. So far, Duke’s 0-2 from three, but they are also getting the calls; 3 fouls on Wake, none on Duke.
Five minutes in and Duke is struggling with Wake’s defense. In fact, their points come from a offensive rebound and two free throws.
11:11 - So far, Duke can’t keep Wake’s guards out of the lane. Right now they are controlling the game. Paulus’ open three. was Duke’s first non-rebound, non-free throw in the game. It only took 7:36 . Duke is 3-16 from the floor. The five starters are 1-11. So far, rebounding is keeping them in the game, only down by five. Duke needs to start penitrating and dishing. Force the action.
7:00 - Nice job out of the time out. A nice 7-2 run to tie it at 16-16. The crowd suddenly goes quiet. We talked about Nolan needing to hit the three. The opportunity would be there. So far, 0-2. He needs to hit those open shots.
Duke needs to get back quicker on D. After a made basket, Teague is pushing it up quickly and Duke has found themselves suddenly trailing the play. We can’t let him have open threes. He will nail them. Since the last timeout, Duke is 4-8 from the floor.
2:38 - Points in the paint after 13 minutes, 18-7 Wake. Ouch. Solid dunk by Aminu. Come on, Zoubek, enough with the block party. That’s the third time he’s been blocked tonight.
Paulus doing a good job off the bench. A great shot, a solid pass, then a steal to get Duke back to within two (24-22). Wow, Plumlee and Williams come in. Coach is shaking things up here. Doubt Wake prepared for them. Elliot missed an open three, but Plumlee throws down a sweat dunk.
So far, Wake’s appeared to have the better game, yet here we are, only down by two, 26-24. I’d be really happy if I was Coach K if I can walk into halftime down by two, or even better, tied or leading.
:54 – Come on, Elliot. What are you thinking driving lost in the lane. A 4-point swing.
HALF TIME - Shit. Not a good way to end the first half. Teague’s three gives them a five-point lead and a little bit of a confidence boost heading into the locker room.
The half was defined by defense. First one to 65 wins. So far, two huge factors have handed the Deamons a small lead.
- It’s a block party. Wake has blocked seven shots. Duke needs to continue to attack the lane and not start settling for long range shots.
- Free throws. Wake Forest has 12, Duke has four. Wake has made five more than Duke has shot. Those numbers need to reverse themselves in the second half.
Having said all that, Duke can’t be too upset about the half. They’re down by five, even though Wake shot 47%, while the Devils were held to 28%. Henderson and Smith both spent a lot of time on the bench, so both will be fresh for the second half.
On the defensive end, they need to continue to stop the penetration. They actually did a decent job after the first ten minutes. Take away Teague’s lucky three at the end, Aminu’s rebound dunk was their only other basket in the last seven minutes of the half.
So how is Duke still in it? Offensive rebounds. Duke leads 11-4. In facta, Six of Duke’s 11 made shots came following a offensive rebound.
We’re going to switch up posts for the second half.