Duke basketball defensive masterclass lands victory over Vermont in NCAA Tournament

Jon Scheyer will be happy about his team’s performance

Mar 22, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jeremy Roach (3) shoots the ball past
Mar 22, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jeremy Roach (3) shoots the ball past / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It never has to be pretty this time of year and with the Duke basketball team coming off two consecutive losses, it just needed to be a win.

And it was.

The Blue Devils landed a 64-47 victory over Vermont in what might have been the team’s best defensive performance of the season.

The Catamounts would shoot just 38.5-percent from the field (20-of-52) and 25-percent from 3-point range (5-of-20).

The biggest discrepancy would come at the free throw line as Duke would hit 20-of-29, compared to just 2-of-6 for Vermont.

The game started strong for both teams as Vermont took a 12-11 lead early, but that would be the last lead the Catamounts held in the game.

Duke would build a 10-point lead in the first half before it was trimmed to five, 34-29, at halftime.

The closest Vermont would get was two points, 36-34, after a 5-2 run to start the half but the Blue Devils found separation down the stretch from the trio of Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, and Mark Mitchell.

Mitchell, along with Jared McCain, led the way with 15 points while Roach added 14 points — 10 coming in the second half — to the winning cause.

Kyle Filipowski contributed very little offensively. He only attempted one shot, which he missed, but was able to register four assists and 12 rebounds.

Vermont’s Shamir Bogues make it a six point game, 50-44, with 7:19 remaining but the Blue Devils would end the game on a 14-3 run to punch its ticket to the Round of 32.

Duke will be looking to advance to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for the first time under head coach Jon Scheyer on Sunday against either Wisconsin or James Madison.

A tip-off time will be announced later Friday night by the NCAA.