SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For the first 19 minutes of Saturday’s game between the Syracuse Orange and the ninth ranked Duke Blue Devils, Syracuse never trailed. After that, it was all downhill for the Orange, as the Blue Devils stayed in control the rest of the way capturing a 97-88 victory.
The Dome was packed in front of a near-sellout crowd (34,616) on Saturday, and the Orange gave the fans a lot to cheer about early, leading by as many as seven points in the first half. However, Duke closed out the half on a 6-0 run and went into halftime with a 40-36 lead.
After the break, it was all Blue Devils. Duke led by as many 15 in the second half led by freshman Vernon Carey Jr. who finished with 26 points.
Syracuse made a 10-1 run with about 3:30 left in the half to cut the Duke lead to five, but it would not be enough.
On the score sheet, Syracuse was led by junior Marek Dolezaj who poured in a career-high 22 points. Junior Elijah Hughes helped out with 21 points, and the Orange got double digit contributions from freshman Joe Girard III and sophomore Buddy Boeheim.
It was a poor shooting night from long range for the ‘Cuse, as they combined to go 6-for-26 (23.1%) from beyond the arc.
On the other side, everything was falling for Duke who could not be stopped in the paint, as they shot over 57% from the field.
Syracuse has now lost two in a row and are 13-9 on the season.
The Orange will look to right the ship next Saturday at home against Wake Forest. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Listen to Jim Boeheim’s comments from the game here.