US Presswire: Kevin Jairaj
Duke consistently held the Gophers at arm's length, slowly building their lead en route to a 71-89 win. Most of the second half was a 9-13 point differential that Minnesota could not overcome. It was a combination of great perimeter shooting from Duke and their dynamic duo of Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee combined for over half of Duke's points. The Duke starting five scored all but two of their 89 points with Plumleee and Curry who combined for 45.
As a team the Blue Devils shot 80% from three and seemed to hit back-breaking three after back-breaking three when Minnesota was attempting to go on a run to get back into the game. I actually felt as though the Gophers played pretty good defense for most of the game. Duke did make 8 of their 10 threes, but many of them were well contested and shots you just have to tip your hat to and say "nice shot." Minnesota also cut down their turnovers in the second half and won the rebounding battle but couldn't find a way to keep Duke from making jump shot after contested jump shot.
Rodney Williams and Andre Hollins played good games and didn't seem to back down from the #5 team in the country. A hat tip should also go to Maverick Ahanmisi who also backed down from no one and finished with 10 points and two steals.
This is a three-day tournament so there isn't much time to sulk over this one. Up next is the loser of VCU and Memphis who plays later tonight. There is no shame in losing to Duke, I hope we get over this one quickly and finish the tourney with two wins and a consolation trophy.