Duke has lost three in a row.
In each game the Blue Devils have seen the game go down to the final possession. Each time Duke couldn’t get the crucial bucket. And, in each of those three games, the Blue Devils have seen an opponent post a career night.
On Monday it was Syracuse’s Tyler Roberson, a 6-foot-8, 212 pound junior who entered the game averaging 9.9 points and 8.5 rebounds. Solid numbers for sure, but nothing near the 14 points and 20 rebounds he recorded as the Orange rallied and then held off a late Duke charge.
The final score was Syracuse 64, Duke 62. And the result sent the Blue Devils to a 14-5 overall record and 3-3 mark in the ACC. It’s the first time Duke has lost three straight games since the 2006-2007 season.
Aside from Roberson the Orange got a balanced scoring ledger from Trevor Cooney, Malachi Richardson, and former Blue Devil Michael Gbinije, each of whom scored 14 points.
For the home team, Marshall Plumlee had another strong game - posting 19 points and 17 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to help Duke stem the tide of negative momentum that began last week with a loss to Clemson on the road and continued into Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame. Like both of those contests, Duke got killed on the offensive glass and lost the overall rebounding battle by a large margin.
Compounding Duke’s troubles was Luke Kennard’s struggles. Fresh off a 30 point explosion against Notre Dame on Saturday, the freshman missed all nine of his field goals and all seven of his perimeter attempts as well.
Joining Plumlee in double figures was Grayson Allen who finished with 18 points and Brandon Ingram who added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Duke will be back in action next weekend against NC State.