Undermanned Duke Loses at Clemson

ShawnKrest

Three days after their biggest win in program history, the Clemson Tigers upset No. 3 Duke at Littlejohn Coliseum, 79-72. The win snapped Duke’s nine-game winning streak and handed the Blue Devils their first ACC loss of the season.

Clemson was coming off its first win in Chapel Hill in the history of the series, beating the Tar Heels in overtime on Saturday to snap an 0-59 streak. There was no letdown on Tuesday, however, as the Tigers shot 58% in the first half and 56% in the second.

Duke had no answer for defending ACC Co-Player of the Week Aamir Simms, who hit 10 of 15 shots for 25 points. He added nine rebounds and three assists. Duke also had no answer for Clemson on the drive, as the Tigers continually beat perimeter defenders to get shots at the hoop or kick for open threes. The Tigers were 5-of-9 from three in the first half, 8 of 19 for the game.

The usually deep, versatile Blue Devils were down to an eight-man rotation, as Wendell Moore (broken hand) missed his third straight game and Joey Baker (sprained ankle) his first. Alex O’Connell struggled, hitting just two of six shots and turning the ball over twice. Matthew Hurt also struggled, managing just two points in 16 minutes.

Duke was led by Vernon Carey, who had 20 points and seven rebounds. Tre Jones had 17 points , five rebounds and four assists. Cassius Stanley battled foul trouble to add 14.

The Blue Devils appeared to be fatigued, leaving several shots short, including a pair of Jordan Goldwire layups on fast breaks, one of them just before the halftime buzzer. The Blue Devils also gave up 15 turnovers.

Duke next faces Louisville in a battle for the top spot in the ACC over the weekend.

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