Less than 48 hours after breaking a three game losing streak the Blue Devils once against came up short, losing to Miami 80-69 to fall to 4-4 in the ACC.
Brandon Ingram scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to pace the Blue Devils, but Duke couldn’t stop Miami’s continued dribble penetration as the Hurricane beat Duke 80-69 on Monday night in Coral Cables.
The loss drops Duke to 15-6 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. It’s the first time since 1996 that Duke has been at .500 or below after eight league games. It’s also, likely, the loss that will knock Duke out of the national Top 25 rankings for the first time since the 2007 season.
Defensively the Blue Devils played most of the game in a 1-3-1 or 2-3 zone, switching to man-to-man only in the last four minutes as the team attempted to rally. By that time it was too late. Miami routinely got into the zone using either backdoor cuts for easy baskets, or finding the soft spot under the free throw line.
Much of the credit went to point guard Angel Rodriguez who finished with 13 points and 11 assists. Just as he did a year ago when the Hurricanes blew out the eventual national champions on their own court, Rodriguez was able to break down the Blue Devils at will. And, as was the case a season ago, Rodriguez seemed to find his shooting range against Duke. He went 3-of-7 from the perimeter after missing 26 of his previous 30 long range attempts coming into the game.
While Ingram was very good, Duke’s other reliable scorer, Grayson Allen was limited. The sophomore missed 11 of 17 shots. He finished with 17 points.
As a team Duke shot just 6-of-20 from long range and 42 percent from the field. Meanwhile, Miami shot 51 percent from the floor.
Duke will return to action on February 2nd when they travel to Georgia Tech.