Duke basketball holds on for win in strange setting in Cameron Indoor

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

444. 79. 434. Final. 67

The Duke basketball team avoided disaster by holding on to defeat the Pittsburgh Panthers on Tuesday night in what was a strange environment in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Before things even tipped off, Cameron Indoor Stadium had a different vibe on Tuesday night.

Two days removed from the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, both Duke and Pittsburgh ditched their normal warmups and wore shirts with “No. 8” on the front and “No. 24” on the back.

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Duke started off the game slow, looking like a team that has not played in a week, but in his return to Cameron Indoor Stadium, former Duke player and coach, Jeff Capel, picked up a technical foul in the first half after arguing a call.

Compared to what other coaches have done around the country, it was a pretty soft tech.

Then the end of the first half rolled around and the Blue Devils began to create some separation and the Cameron Crazies began to chant, “Jeff Capel, sit with us!”

Well, that didn’t sit well with Mike Krzyzewski and he absolutely lost his cool, needing to be held back by referee Mike Eades, while vociferously screaming “Shut Up” at the Crazies.

As the halftime buzzer sounded, Coach K bolted towards the student section and pounded his chest, exclaiming that Capel was “one of us” and for the chants to stop immediately.

After the game, Krzyzewski admitted that he misheard the chant and apologized to the Crazies and reiterated his love for Jeff Capel.

Duke built an 18-point lead in the second half, but sloppy and uninterested play saw that lead dwindle to just three points before the Blue Devils iced the game from the Los Angeles native Cassius Stanley on a big 3-pointer to give Duke a 75-65 lead.

The Blue Devils would go on to win, 79-67, thanks to the ninth double-double of the season from Vernon Carey Jr. with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

Duke got an unexpected three 3-pointers from Jordan Goldwire as he finished with 13 points, just ending behind Tre Jones‘ 14 points, eight assists, and no turnovers.

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Stanley finished his night with 11 points as four of Duke’s starters had seven points, with Matthew Hurt going for just seven.

The bench only contributed for eight points as Jack White scored six and Joey Baker was only able to connect on 1-of-6 from the floor for two points.

Wendell Moore was unavailable to play, but he was dressed and in uniform, perhaps a return on Saturday night against the Syracuse Orange could be a possibility as his versatility inside the zone could be a massive boost for a struggling Blue Devil offense.