Duke battled back from a 12-point deficit to force overtime against Louisville, but the Cardinals were able to make plays down the stretch and pull on an 80-73 win on the Blue Devils’ Senior Day.
“A heck of a game and a tough loss for us,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “The first half, I thought they dominated the first half. Their athleticism and maturity knocked us back, and I thought at halftime, we talked about it and our guys responded, and I thought we really fought the rest of the way at a high level. You put yourself in a position to win, we got five, seven points behind, the press helped us, we got the lead, and it comes down to the one possession and we actually got (Carlik) Jones to go left, but our help side has to come over. It didn’t come over, and then we blocked out on the free throw, but we’ve got to grab the rebound. That would have given us at least a chance. Jones, he doesn’t miss often, but he missed then, and it would have given us like nine seconds or 10 seconds, or whatever it was to push the ball down the court. Our game boils down to stuff like that, that one possession, and we were able to win that possession against Virginia, and we did not win that possession tonight.”
Louisville’s Carlik Jones followed up his 24-point night in Louisville’s first win against Duke with 25 points in the rematch. Matthew Hurt led Duke with 37.
“They’re a really good team,” Coach K said, “and Carlik Jones, he’s as good a guard as there is in our conference. Matt (Hurt) had a sensational game. Matt was unbelievable, and it’s not threes, he was scoring in a variety of ways, and their perimeter just knocked our guards back. They did not have the games that they’ve had in the last couple weeks, but they’re also playing against high level guards, so hopefully we get better and learn from it.”