Duke became the latest top 10 team to fall this week, joining Kansas, Maryland, and Miami who were each upset on Tuesday night. But, for a while it seemed as though the Blue Devils were going to avoid the upset bug.
Mike Krzyzewski’s team hit six three-pointers in the first 13 minutes to take a 12 point lead and appeared to be cruising toward a 4-0 start in the ACC. And then the tide began to turn as Clemson began to find easy buckets on the inside, drawing fouls and scoring almost at will to gradually cut into the lead, trimming it all the way down to a two point game at half.
On the final play before intermission, Ingram picked up his third foul. The freshman had scored 15 first half points, but would score just one point after halftime after picking up his fourth foul with just under 15 minutes remaining.
Down one of it’s top scorers, Duke would then suffer the loss of it’s top post player, Marshall Plumlee with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. On the next play Donte Grantham converted a 3-point play to cut the lead to one at 48-47.
From there Clemson would continue to push before Grantham and Jaron Blossomgame connected on back-to-back three pointers to give the Tigers a 53-50 lead.
Duke would bring back both Plumlee and Ingram, but was forced into a zone defense that was less than effective. Clemson continually got open looks and eventually Roper knocked down a couple of shots to push the lead to 62-55 with 2:52 remaining.
From there, Duke would respond with a 6-0 run and could have tied the game at 62, after Matt Jones drove to the lane and was fouled. But the junior missed the free throw.
Jones would have a chance to tie the game again on Duke’s final possession. Duke inbounded the ball with 13.3 seconds remaining and Derryck Thornton drove down the court and found the junior on the left side for an open look. However, Jones’ shot was way off, not even drawing iron.
The Blue Devils were led by Grayson Allen’s 17 points and four assists, while Ingram added 16.
Duke will return to action this weekend against Notre Dame.