Duke basketball captain leads charge in tough victory over Xavier

Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball captain led the charge in Friday’s victory over Xavier. 

Things were a bit more aesthetically pleasing for the Duke basketball team on Friday afternoon in Portland following its ugly victory over Oregon State on Thursday.

The No. 8 Blue Devils only posted a total of 54 points against the Beavers with some horrific shooting numbers but the offense bounced back against Xavier (4-2) thanks to the leadership and shot-making ability of Jeremy Roach.

Roach led Duke (6-1) with 21 points in the 71-64 victory as the team posted 40 points in the opening half.

The Blue Devils extended its lead to as many as 13 points in the second half before the Musketeers started its comeback but never got closer than three points to the Duke advantage.

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Kyle Filipowski posted another strong first half as Mark Mitchell picked up the pieces in the second half to aid in the efforts of Roach on the offensive end of the floor.

The freshmen forwards, each in double figures, combined for 28 points and nine rebounds on 10-of-21 shooting from the floor.

No other player scored at least ten points for the Blue Devils but every player that took the floor, with the exception of Tyrese Proctor, scored at least two points.

Duke basketball defense puts together another strong showing

Duke shot 50.0-percent (27-of-54) from the field and 45.5-percent (5-for-11) from 3-point range as the Xavier 64 points were the lowest Sean Miller’s team has produced in six games this season as two of its leading scores, Jack Nunge and Zach Freemantle, combine for just nine points on 3-of-19 shooting.

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The Blue Devils will now await the winner of Friday night’s semifinal matchup between No. 6 Gonzaga (4-1) and No. 24 Purdue (4-0) [11:30p.m. ET, ESPN] and will have a chance to defense its Phil Knight Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon (3:30p.m., ABC) in Portland.

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