Instant Juice: Syracuse 88, Duke 97

Elijah Hughes Duke
Feb. 1, 2020; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Elijah Hughes (33) shoots over Duke Blue Devils center Vernon Carey Jr. (1) during a 97-88 loss. Mandatory Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

A quick take on Syracuse’s deflating 97-88 defeat against Duke Saturday evening, in front of 31,458 the largest college basketball crowd of the season at the Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse (13-9, 6-5) suffered its second-straight ACC defeat, falling behind late in the first half and the Orange were never able to cut the lead below double-digits until under 4:00 to play against the No. 9 Blue Devils (18-3, 8-2).  Duke was hot shooting (57%), and got point production from eight of its nine players that saw playing time led by big man Vernon Carey Jr., (26-points) and reserve guard Alex O’Connell who hurt the ‘Cuse with timely baskets among his 11-points.

» Related: Forward Marek Dolezaj has done a little bit of everything for Syracuse lately

ANALYSIS: Duke’s man defense put consistent pressure on the SU guards making it a frustrating evening for Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard until midway through the second-half.  The two combined to shoot just 5-of-17 from three range.  Marek Dolezaj was effective driving the lane and battling under the basket, leading the Orange with 22-points.

HERO: Duke’s mammoth center Carey Jr. was virtually unstoppable down low showing agility and strength.  The freshman  finished with his game-high 26-points and 16-rebounds against SU’s big men Bourama Sidibe and Quincy Guerrier (both fouled out), and Dolezaj.

ZERO: The Orange struggled shooting against the Duke defense, especially from beyond the three-point line finishing 6-of-25 as a team, including a 1-for-9 night for Elijah Hughes (21-points).

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse has week off before continuing its current three-game homestand hosting Wake Forest next Sat., Feb. 8.  The Orange won at Wake Forest last season, and SU is 7-1 all-time versus the Demon Deacons in ACC play.  Wake Forest (10-11, 3-8) knocked off Clemson 56-44 Saturday night.  Game Time: 8:00 ET.  TV: ACC Network.

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Brad Bierman
About Brad Bierman 686 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.