Duke blows out Syracuse men’s basketball in Coach K’s last game at the Carrier Dome
Duke blows out SU in Coach K's final game at the Carrier Dome.
Saturday’s Syracuse men’s basketball game against Duke, a 97-72 loss, started ugly for the Orange. The Blue Devils jumped out to an early 14-0 lead before SU finally got on the board.
Buddy Boeheim carried the Orange in the first half with 17 of the team’s 34 points. The Orange felt lucky the halftime defecate wasn’t worse.
“If Buddy hadn’t made some really hard shots early it would have been 30-2. Every shot he made was against a really good defensive player,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “I don’t think Duke is a game you can measure anything by. We went to Notre Dame, they are the second-place team in the league and we are one point with them. But we can’t handle Duke.”
The Blue Devils’ offense continued to roll in the second half. Mark Williams scored 15 points the first time these two teams met and set a career-high with 28 points on 11-14 from the field Saturday night.
The center position has been a problem for Syracuse since the Jesse Edwards injury.
“The one thing I will say, and I don’t make excuses, Jesse is a difference-maker for this team,” Boeheim said. “We wouldn’t have won the three in a row if it weren’t for him. It’s just too hard to overcome.”
Anytime Syracuse cut the lead to 15 points, Duke had an answer. Potential top-five NBA draft pick Paolo Banchero was a force all night long. He scored 21 points and chipped in 9 assists.
“He’s been trying to analyze too much instead of getting it and go,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “So he was a lot quicker today. He was the guy in the middle of the zone for us.”
SU honored “Coach K”, who is retiring after this season, before the game. The school christened “The Michael Krzyzewski Award for Leadership and Civic Engagement,” which will be given annually to an SU student.
“I thought it was a great idea, the scholarship in his name, he’s a military guy. We have a tremendous military presence on campus with the veterans building – I think it was a great tribute to Mike,” Boeheim said.
“Jim and I are as close as you can be, our families, we love one another,” Krzyzewski said. “The honor that they bestowed on me today was amazing. I have to take some time to understand just how deep of an award that is.”
31,803 fans made up the largest crowd in college basketball this year, and 8,335 students composed the largest student section in Carrier Dome history.
The Orange have another quick turnaround and will play in Chapel Hill on Monday against North Carolina. Syracuse is still eyeing that first signature win of the season. A win over UNC could be just that.