Duke basketball defense dominates All-American candidate

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

The Duke basketball team flexed its muscles against another Big Ten opponent. 

It was a contrast of styles inside Madison Square Garden that the Duke basketball team had to overcome at the Jimmy V Classic.

The Blue Devils tenacious defense was pinned up against the flying offensive attack of the Iowa Hawkeyes as Duke looked for its second straight victory over a Big Ten opponent.

Kris Murray entered Tuesday’s action as a clear All-American candidate, averaging 21.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, but Jon Scheyer had the perfect game plan to limit the Iowa junior sensation.

Duke threw multiple defenders at Murray all night long as he was limited to just 3-of-9 from the floor for eight points, seven rebounds, and three assists as No. 15 Duke (9-2) pushed its winning streak to three games, 74-62.

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The 40.5-percent 3-point shooter missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc and Iowa (6-2), posting 86.4 points per contest entering the game, was held to just 39.7-percent shooting from the floor and an ugly 18.8-percent from downtown.

The Blue Devils opened up a 12 point lead in the first half, 36-24, before entering halftime with just a six advantage, 37-31, after not making a field goal in the final 3:49 of the opening stanza.

Duke expanded its lead to as high as 18 points, 61-43, in the second half before Iowa suddenly started to chip away and made things interesting following an 8-0 run to make it a game, 68-60, with 1:10 to play.

The Blue Devils responded with a 6-0 run to put the game away as Mark Mitchell punctuated the victory with a breakaway dunk that brought the Duke faithful to its feet inside The Garden.

Duke has held six of its last eight opponents to less than 65 points, all resulting in victories for the Blue Devils.

Duke basketball captain takes center stage in Big Apple

If Jeremy Roach was auditioning for a Broadway play he would have earned the lead role as he spearheaded the Blue Devils with 22 points, two rebounds, and three assists as the Duke captain controlled the pace of the game since the opening tipoff.

The point total was a career-high for Roach, who has only committed one turnover in his last two games.

Duke’s freshmen played well once again as Mark Mitchell added 17 points and five rebounds while Kyle Filipowski notched yet another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Dariq Whitehead played one of his best games since returning from injury as the forward looked smooth and engaged from the moment he came off the bench with eight points, six rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes.

The Blue Devils will only play three games between now and the beginning of the new calendar year but Duke will return home to host Maryland-Eastern Shore (3-6) on Saturday afternoon (5:30p.m. ET, ACC Network).

Next. Kyle Filipowski continues to impress as ACC play begins. dark