Duke doesn’t believe in the old matra, “History repeats itself”, not this year.
Ten days after they defeated Ohio State, avenging an ugly loss from the 2011-2012 season, Duke showed they’re still not done getting revenge, defeating Temple by a score of 90-67, avenging a shocking loss at the hands of the Owls a little over eleven months ago.
The Blue Devils were led by senior Seth Curry, who dropped twenty-three points and five three-pointers after returning from a one-game absence caused by a leg injury. Curry played the best he has all season, sinking a couple NBA-length three-pointers and using a wide variety of slick moves to create open looks for himself all game. Fellow senior and Player of the Year hopeful Mason Plumlee also contributed a big game, scoring sixteen points and pulling down fourteen rebounds. Other contributors included Ryan Kelly, who recorded his first double-double of the season with fourteen points and ten rebounds, and Quinn Cook, who played the role of stat-stuffer with fourteen points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals, and an impressive three-of-four from beyond the arc. Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon also dished out seven assists in the victory.
Temple came into the game undefeated, but the Owls never looked as if they had a legitimate shot at upsetting the battle-tested Blue Devils. Two minutes into the game, Duke took a 5-4 lead and never looked back, shooting over fifty-percent the rest of the first half while holding Temple to a thirty-one percent mark en route to a 46-32 halftime advantage.
The other dominating factor in the game came via the free throw line, where Duke went 22-29 compared to Temple’s 1-4 mark. The typical fan will cry out favoritism from the refs, but a quick scan of this game will reveal Duke’s relentlessness in getting inside compared to Temple’s favoring the perimeter, unwilling to attack the Blue Devils inside.
What else can we take from this game? To the notes!:
-This Duke team is deadly. Yes, you probably already knew that, but today’s game was the first game where you really saw every possible offensive attack being utilized. Duke beat Temple on the inside. Duke beat Temple on the outside. Duke beat Temple on the wing. Duke outran Temple. It was a beautiful offensive performance put on by a team that is still learning how to play with each other, and it is only going to get better.
-Alex Murphy scored five points! He also missed a wide-open layup, though. Murphy appears to still be struggling with confidence and I don’t expect to see him take the court during important minutes anytime soon.
-The Blue Devils struggled to rebound against the vastly undersized Temple team as they only managed to out-rebound the Owls 36-35, holding a disadvantage in the category most of the contest. This has been a problem for Coach K’s squad throughout the year and it should be watched over the next few games. Outside of Plumlee and Kelly, this team is getting virtually nothing and boxing out has been a problem.
-Amile Jefferson is fun to watch on fastbreaks. That is all I have to say about that.
-Duke now takes an eleven-day break before taking on Cornell on December 19th, so I’ll be in my room crying until then, if you need me.