It was a much-needed victory for the Duke basketball program, but it came with controversy.
Monday night’s loss to Virginia was a major setback for the Duke basketball team after its blowout win over North Carolina on Saturday night, and Thursday presented a new opportunity for the No. 7 Blue Devils.
Duke was going on the road against a Clemson (12-12, 4-9 ACC) team that was desperate for a signature victory and had just played the Tar Heels, at home, to the wire on Tuesday night.
However, this was the Duke (20-4, 10-3 ACC) that we have been accustomed to seeing.
Mike Krzyzewski’s team controlled things from start to finish in its 82-64 victory but not before a major controversy appeared in the first half.
Junior forward Wendell Moore stripped Clemson guard David Collins and was all alone for a breakaway dunk before Collins took out the legs of Moore mid-dunk and caused him to fall hard and awkwardly to the floor.
Krzyzewski was hit with a technical foul as he ran onto the floor in protest of the play as he went to check on his captain.
Collins was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul resulting in an ejection while Moore was miraculously able to stay in the game and show no signs of injury.
Moore finished the game with eight points, four rebounds, and eight assists in 33 minutes.
Duke basketball freshman returns to prominent role
It has taken some time for freshman guard Trevor Keels to return to form after his lower leg injury, but Thursday night was the best he has looked since returning to the court.
Keels posted a team-high 25 points and 11 rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor, 3-of-6 from 3-point range.
Theo John was the only other player off the bench to score for the Blue Devils with two points.
Paolo Banchero also posted a double-double on the night with 15 points and 10 rebounds despite hitting just 5-of-14 shots.
AJ Griffin, who remained in his starting role after struggling against Virginia, found his shooting form with 12 points, all coming from beyond the 3-point arc.
Griffin was 4-of-5 from deep with three rebounds, two assists, and a block.
Mark Williams was a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor.
Duke will conclude its two-game road trip, and three-game week, on Saturday evening against Boston College (9-13, 4-8 ACC) at 5:00 p.m. (ACC Network).