Despite building a 16 point second half lead, fatigue and a talented, well-rested opponent were too much for Duke to overcome in the ACC quarterfinal round.
After storming to a 16 point lead early in the second half, Duke simply ran out of gas. The legs were gone and so were the jump shots as a very spent group of Blue Devils fell 84-79 on Thursday afternoon.
Grayson Allen scored a game high 27 points, but didn’t have the help he needed as Duke shot just 25-of-73 from the field and 11-of-36 from the perimeter for the game.
Less than 24 hours after leading Duke past NC State in a high scoring and entertaining affair with 22 points each, Brandon Ingram and Luke Kennard combined to shoot just 7-of-30 from the field and 3-of-13 from 3-point land.
Still, despite the poor shooting all around, Duke rebounded well and some how hung around before building a big lead. However, Notre Dame kept attacking and cut a 64-48 lead to a one possession game with just over four and half minutes remaining. Two minutes later the Irish took the lead on a V.J. Beachem three pointer.
Throughout Notre Dame’s run Duke got a number of good looks, but couldn’t knock down shots. By the time the Blue Devils had squandered the entire advantage, Duke had gone scoreless for more than seven and a half minutes while missing eight field goals and four free throw attempts.
With the loss the Blue Devils will await their placement in the NCAA Tournament which will be announced on Sunday.