Duke basketball keys to avoiding season sweep against Louisville

Duke basketball guard Jordan Goldwire (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Duke basketball guard Jordan Goldwire (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Louisville guard Carlik Jones drives against Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Scott Utterback-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball No. 1 Key to Victory – Win the Guard Battle

For as good as Matthew Hurt was for Duke, 37 points, in its second meeting with Louisville, Carlik Jones was better for the Cards.

Duke had no answer for the senior guard as he consistently made clutch plays at the end of regulation and in overtime to give Louisville the victory.

Jones finished with 25 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals on 9-of-18 shooting and drilling his only three-point attempt.

As a group, the Louisville guards dominated the Duke guards as sophomore Samuell Williamson finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds on 5-of-7 shooting while David Johnson showed some struggles with just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting, but not enough to significantly hurt the Cardinals.

Duke’s guard trio of Jeremy Roach, DJ Steward, and Jordan Goldwire had a combined 12 points on 3-of-21 shooting from the field and 1-of-10 from three-point range, with eight fouls and nine turnovers.

On the contrary, the trio had 37 points on 14-of-24 shooting in Duke’s win over Boston College on Tuesday afternoon.

Not a coincidence that the Blue Devils lose when those three play poorly and win when the trio plays well.

If Duke wants to defeat Louisville and keep its hopes of the NCAA Tournament alive, it has to win the guard battle and watch everything else fall into place.