Duke basketball shows tremendous fight in late run against Syracuse

Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

A championship pedigree was shown by the Duke basketball team against Syracuse. 

Thursday afternoon in the Barclays Center was not for the faint of heart as the Duke basketball team was on the ropes.

An early run for the No. 1 seed Blue Devils against No. 9 seed Syracuse (16-17) created distance between the rivals as Duke led by 11 points midway through the first half before the Orange would catch fire.

It had all the makings of an upset.

Hot shooting from Syracuse, coupled with poor defense and questionable shot selection from Duke, gave the Orange a four-point lead at halftime, 40-36, which expanded to as many as seven in the second half.

The shot selection was much better from Duke in the second half as the Blue Devils did not fall in love with the 3-pointer like in the first half and forced the ball inside to Mark Williams en route to their 88-79 victory.

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However, the Orange did not cool off as Jimmy Boeheim filled the shoes of his brother Buddy, who was out due to a one-game suspension for punching a Florida State player in the stomach on Wednesday.

Boeheim was 11-of-20 from the field and finished with 28 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.

Joe Girard also picked up the slack for Syracuse with 23 points. And Cole Swider, who battled foul trouble all night, ended with 15 points.

The trio were the only scorers in double figures for the Orange.

Duke was led by 26 points from Wendell Moore and the clutch shooting from Jeremy Roach, who poured in 19 points off the bench on 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Blue Devils ended the game on a 10-0 run.

Duke basketball overcoming illness in Brooklyn

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned after the game that some sort of stomach bug is going through the locker room at the moment.

Krzyzewski said that he, associate head coach Chris Carrawell, and freshman forward AJ Griffin all were ill on Wednesday and that the cause of it might have been food poisoning.

All three were on the bench on Thursday. Griffin started the game and logged 22 minutes while adding four points to the winning cause.

Duke (27-5) will play either Boston College (13-19) or Miami (FL) (22-9) on Friday night in the ACC Tournament semifinals.

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