Duke jumped out to an 18-8 lead less than six minutes in and controlled the game the rest of the way as Syracuse was blown out at Cameron Indoor Stadium 85-71. The loss drops Syracuse to 13-7 (7-6) on the season and blows one of the Orange's last remaining opportunities to pick up a quad one win. They have one again on Saturday when they play at Georgia Tech.
The Blue Devils took a 16 point lead into halftime and extended the advantage to 21 in the first few minutes of the second half. Syracuse did make a run and trimmed it to 14, but could not get it down further than that. Buddy Boeheim had a three in the air to cut it to 11, but the ball clanged off the rim and Duke scored at the other end to prevent any game pressure.
Syracuse tried to go press as they did against Notre Dame, but Duke easily broke it routinely and that prevented any hopes of an Orange comeback.
Duke shot over 53% from the field, made 13 three pointers and won the rebounding battle. The Blue Devils got 21 points and seven assists from DJ Steward along with 18 points and 11 rebounds from Mark Williams, his first career double double. Matthew Hurt added 15 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Buddy Boeheim continued his recent strong showing offensively with 21 points on 8-15 shooting including 5-9 from beyond the arc. Boeheim added four rebounds and four assists. Quincy Guerrier and Joe Girard both struggled offensively, combining to shoot 3-15 from the floor. Kadary Richmond was really good off the bench with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes.
Not picking up a quadrant one win is a blow to Syracuse's NCAA Tournament resume with opportunities dwindling down the stretch of the season. Syracuse needs to add one or two in order to bolster its resume. It currently has zero quadrant one wins on the year, though several such opportunities were taken away due to postponements as a result of the pandemic.
Now Syracuse likely has to win its final two regular season games (at Georgia Tech, vs North Carolina) to keep themselves alive. Even in that scenario they may need to win a game or two in the ACC Tournament.