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Duke Rides Early Surge To Defeat Syracuse

DURHAM, N.C. - DJ Steward scored a team-high 21 points while Mark Williams converted 9-of-11 attempts from the field for a career-high 18 points as Duke (11-8, 9-6 ACC) defeated Syracuse (13-7, 7-6 ACC) on Monday night, 85-71.


A Mark Williams jumper sparked an 18-2 Duke scoring stretch that featured six points apiece from Jeremy Roach and Steward to put the Blue Devils ahead, 36-14, with 6:47 remaining in the first half. The Duke lead did not fall below double digits for the remainder of the contest.

Buddy Boeheim led the Orange with 21 points, his second-consecutive 20+ point performance. Kadary Richmond followed closely behind with 15 points, finishing one point shy of matching his career high 16-point performance against Niagara. Boeheim and Richmond were joined in double figures by Marek Dolezaj (13 points) and Alan Griffin (11 points). Griffin and Quincy Guerrier tied for the team-lead on the glass with eight boards.


"We battled as hard as we could after that start" said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. "We have to work better together, find a way to get better movement on offense, and be more active on the defensive end."


The teams traded two-point field goals to open the contest before 3-pointers from Wendell Moore Jr., Roach, and Steward gave the Blue Devils an 9-2 scoring stretch to take an 11-4 advantage in the game's first three minutes. Five unanswered Duke points pushed the score to 18-8 with 14:31 remaining in the opening stanza.

A layup from Richmond cut the deficit to six, but 10-straight Duke points stretched the Blue Devil lead to 16, 28-12, with 9:42 left in the first frame. The 10 unanswered points were part of an 18-2 Duke scoring stretch over the course of six minutes that saw the Blue Devil shooters make seven-of-eight attempts from the field, pushing the Duke lead to 36-14 with 6:47 left on the clock.

Faced with a 20+ point deficit, the Orange fought back with eight unanswered points of their own. Back-to-back triples from Boeheim were bookended by a put-back layup from Richmond to close the gap to 14, 42-28, with 3:31 left in the half.

The Blue Devils outscored Syracuse 10-6 over the remainder of the period to take a 52-34 lead at halftime. Duke converted 62.5 percent (20-of-32) of its attempts from the field and 55.6 (10-of-18) of its attempts from three in the opening 20 minutes.


The Blue Devils edged the Orange 9-6 in the first four minutes of the second stanza, but five straight points on a Boeheim 3-pointer and a pair of free throw makes from Dolezaj made the score 61-45 with 14:44 remaining in the contest.

The score stood at 70-55 with 11:39 on the clock when Duke dropped eight unanswered points that included four from Williams over a two-minute stretch to extend its lead to 78-55 just past the midway point in the second half.

Syracuse outscored Duke 16-7 over the remainder of the game and closed the contest on a 10-0 run, but it proved to be too little, too late as the Blue Devils claimed an 85-71 victory.


  • Syracuse surpassed Duke in points in the paint (36-30) and second-chance points (24-16).

  • Syracuse had 19 points off the bench while Duke's reserves only scored 10.

  • The Orange edged the Blue Devils on the offensive glass, 18-14.

  • The Orange doubled the Blue Devils in steals, 10-5.

  • Buddy Boeheim tallied 20+ points for the second-consecutive contest. The last Syracuse player to have consecutive 20+ point performances was Alan Griffin, who did so three-straight times early in the season against Rider, Rutgers, and Boston College.


Syracuse heads to Atlanta for a meeting with Georgia Tech on Saturday, February 27. Tip off from McCamish Pavilion is set for 12 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on the ACC Network.

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