CHARLOTTESVILLE – The change of venue didn’t change the outcome.
Three weeks after the two teams played a two-point game in Durham, N.C., No. 2 Duke drained 13 3-pointers to beat No. 3 Virginia again, 81-71, Saturday.
In front of a packed house at John Paul Jones Arena, a crowd that included LeBron James, Ralph Sampson and Trinity Episcopal four-star forward Henry Coleman III, Blue Devils freshmen starred as usual. RJ Barrett scored 26, fellow first-year Zion Williamson added 18 and Cam Reddish chipped in with 17.
It was the most points Virginia has allowed this season.
Freshman point guard Tre Jones, who missed the first game against Virginia, played in this one, as did U.Va. junior guard Ty Jerome, who sat out the Cavaliers’ last contest against Miami with a back injury.
Jerome led Virginia (20-2, 8-2 ACC) with 16 points and 4 assists. Junior guard Kyle Guy also scored 16 points and sophomore wing De’Andre Hunter scored 11.
Jones finished with 13 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds for the Blue Devils (21-2, 9-1).
Unlike the earlier meeting, when the two teams combined to hit just 5 shots from 3-point range, both found success from distance Saturday, especially the Blue Devils.
During the week, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski scoffed at a question suggesting his team’s less-than-stellar 3-point shooting statistics were a potential chink in his team’s armor.
Saturday, his players showed why college basketball’s all-time winningest coach was right not to be worried.
The Blue Devils, who came in shooting just 30.8 percent from beyond the arc, went 13 for 21 from 3-point range, and they did it against the top 3-point defense team in the ACC.
The Blue Devils came out hot, going up 8-0 just 2:19 into the game. They hit 7 of their first 8 shots from 3-point range. Duke had built a double-digit lead before James, the Los Angeles Lakers star, even took his front-row seat on the baseline.
But Guy, held scoreless through the first half, scored eight points in the final 2:33 of the period, helping lead U.Va. to an 8-3 spurt that cut the deficit at the break 39-35.
Duke began to pull away in the second half, but a 3-pointer from the wing that rattled in for Jerome trimmed the Cavaliers’ deficit to 59-52.
Hunter hit a 3-pointer to cut Duke’s lead to 66-61 with 5:25 to go, but that would be as close as Virginia would get in the rematch.
If the teams play again, it would be in the ACC or NCAA tournament.
Source:: Daily times