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Showdown in The Garden

The Duke Blue Devils took on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a top 15 match-up; Though Duke is coming off a 51-point win against Princeton, tonight they take on the unbeaten, 10-0 Red Raiders who have the highest defensive efficiency rating in the country. Who will be able to come out with a victory under the Garden’s bright lights?

Coach K spoke on the feeling players have while playing in the Garden, and with a sold out crowd, the emotions ran high; however both teams knew they were in for a night.

Duke came out aggressive, taking an early 6-point lead, and we thought a Duke blowout was sure to follow, but as the crowd became electrified with cheers in the Red Raiders’ favor they woke up. Quickly Texas Tech took a 4-point lead (16-12) early in the first half, and with sloppy plays and timid movements from the Blue Devils, Coach K called timeout. The Blue Devils haven’t been tested since their loss to Gonzaga, and tonight the Raiders applied pressure. Texas Tech Guard Jarrett Culver continues to carry the Raiders offense, and he did just that throughout the first half. Finishing with 14 of the Raiders 29 first half points. RJ Barrett struggled from the floor, going 3-14 in the first half, but Duke was able to trail by only 1 point (29-28) despite their offensive blunders.

As the second half came underway Duke’s offensive struggles continued with Barrett unable to make a basket, and Reddish also quiet offensively but Culver continued to show poise from the floor. Someone would have to contribute for Duke to stay afloat through their offensive lack, and Tre Jones did just that, sparking the offense and cutting the Raiders lead in the middle of the 2nd.

Culver looks like he’s been here before, playing with confidence and control, with 22 points late in the 2nd and leading Texas Tech to a solid performance from the floor, but the Blue Devils would will their way back to into the game, taking a 5 point lead (60-55) down the stretch.

Despite Zion Williamson fouling out late in the 2nd half, Texas Tech would not find a way to capitalize, and they would fall to Duke 69-58.

Tre Jones was the key of the game- “He turned it around for us..He did a hell of a job” said Coach K after the game. Tre finished with 13 points on the night, but made game changing key plays in the 2nd.

Rough Night for Barrett- Barrett went 7-22 on the night. He will have to find ways to be effective, even when his shot is off.


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