Monday, January 19, 2015

No. 4 Duke Gets Past No. 6 Louisville in ACC Showdown

(4) Duke 63
(6) Louisville 52

Final from Louisville, Kentucky

Game recap by UL:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Terry Rozier's 17 points led No. 6 Louisville, but it wasn't enough as the Cardinals lost to No. 4 Duke 63-52 on Saturday.

Jahlil Okafor scored 14 second-half points, Amile Jefferson added 19 as Duke (15-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) dominated Louisville inside.

Louisville (15-3, 3-2) shot just 18 of 61 from the field (30 percent) and failed to beat one of the ACC's powerhouses. The Cardinals also lost at North Carolina last Saturday.

Staggered by Tuesday's 16-point loss to Miami that ended their 41-game home winning streak, the Blue Devils rebounded on their home floor to end a two-game slide. The 6-foot-11 freshman Okafor and 6-9 Jefferson played a big role in outscoring Louisville 32-24 in the paint while denying the inside defensively.

Okafor finished with 18 points and seven rebounds as the Blue Devils finally put coach Mike Krzyzewski within two wins of 1,000.

Louisville trailed by 21 in the second half before getting within 10 points, at 58-48 with 1:29 remaining. But the Blue Devils were firmly in control at that point and won the matchup between Hall of Fame coaches Krzyzewski and Rick Pitino.

Most important for Duke was avoiding its first three-game league losing streak since the 2006-07 season.

Both teams shot poorly at the start, but Duke eventually took advantage of Louisville's misfires to close the half on a 15-6 run for a 30-20 halftime lead. The Blue Devils' zone defense succeeded in forcing the Cardinals into burning a lot of clock before taking long-range shots that missed despite good looks.

Louisville was ice cold in the first half, shooting 7 of 31 including 11 straight misses over a six-minute stretch before making its final three. The last one involved some drama, as Montrezl Harrell's jumper bounced three times on the rim before dropping through at the horn to trail 30-20. He finished with 10 points.

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