National Basketball Association
Duke 75, Syracuse 65
When: 6:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 23, 2019
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
# Tim Clougherty, # James Breeding, # Ted Valentine
RJ Barrett scored 30 points, and Alex O'Connell had a big second half as top-ranked Duke defeated Syracuse 75-65 without standout freshman Zion Williamson on Saturday night at Syracuse, N.Y.
Barrett shot 14-of-20 from the field. O'Connell posted 20 points, aided by four 3-point baskets in the second half. O'Connell, who was in the starting lineup in place of Williamson, finished 5 of 8 from long range for Duke (24-3, 12-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
The game came three nights after Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was behind the wheel in a late-night accident that resulted in the death of a pedestrian on a Syracuse highway. With the support of the school's administration, Boeheim was on the Orange sideline for the game.
Williamson was ruled out after suffering a sprained knee in the opening minute of Wednesday night's home loss to No. 8 North Carolina. His status has been listed as day-to-day by the school.
The game was played in front of an NCAA on-campus record crowd of 35,642.
Tyus Battle scored 16 points on 4-of-17 shooting, Elijah Hughes had 12 points, and Frank Howard and Marek Dolezaj, before fouling out with 1:41 remaining, each added 10 points for Syracuse (18-9, 9-5), which was trying to build on Wednesday night's trouncing of No. 18 Louisville.
The outcome avenged last month's overtime victory for Syracuse in Durham, N.C. Duke is in a first-place tie with Virginia and North Carolina.
Duke clung to a 58-52 lead as Syracuse was scoreless for more than five minutes. The Orange finally scored to pull within two, but the Blue Devils responded and went up 65-56 on a couple of transition baskets.
The Orange were within 65-60 before going cold again.
Syracuse led 34-29 at halftime despite 37.8 percent shooting from the field.
Barrett had 17 points at the break on 8-of-11 shooting. The rest of the Blue Devils were 4-for-19 from the field.
Among the developments, Duke used freshman guard Joey Baker for the first time this season, burning what appeared to be set up as a redshirt season.
Duke didn't use normal starting center Marques Bolden until about the seven-minute mark of the first half.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
RJ Barrett 30
Tyus Battle 16
RJ Barrett 7
Oshae Brissett 4
Marques Bolden 8
Elijah Hughes 7
Tre Jones 6
||Free Throws Made
Tyus Battle 6
Alex O'Connell 1
Oshae Brissett 4
Javin DeLaurier 3
Frank Howard 2
Team Stats Summary