Its offense not yet clicking consistently this season, No. 17 Duke hit just enough baskets plus a whole lot of free throws to subdue No. 25 Ohio State on Wednesday night.
Kyle Filipowski’s 16 points led five Blue Devils in double figures as Duke topped the Buckeyes, 81-72, in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke (7-2) shot 45.5% and worked the ball inside enough, either to its big men or by its driving guards, to earn 30 free throws. The Blue Devils hit 26 of those 30 (86.7%) and never trailed in the second half after leading 39-29 at halftime.
Duke’s first-year coach, Jon Scheyer, enjoyed seeing his developing team show resiliency after absorbing a 75-56 loss to Purdue on Sunday in the Phil Knight Legacy tournament championship game at Portland, Oregon.
“Being there in Cameron tonight was a special experience coming off a loss,” Scheyer said. “You think about our program, and what it means to me, what it means to us, it’s not necessarily that we’re perfect. But when you get knocked down, you get right back up.”
Jeremy Roach scored 13 points and Tyrese Proctor added 12 points for Duke, while freshman center Dereck Lively II scored a season-best 11 points. Graduate student center Ryan Young contributed 10 points off the bench.
Zed Key paced Ohio State (5-2) with 21 points as the Buckeyes shot 48.1%, including 3 of 13 on 3-pointers. Ohio State committed 16 turnovers as Duke recorded nine steals.
Sean McNeil added 14 points for the Buckeyes, who never led over the game’s final 24 minutes.
Duke led by as many as 13 points early in the second half but saw Ohio State slice the deficit to five points three times. Each time, the Blue Devils answered with a basket to extend their lead again.
The last time came when McNeil drilled a 3-pointer with 3:04 to play leaving Duke up 72-67.
But Filipowski, playing with four fouls, received the ball inside and maneuvered to score while drawing a foul. His free throw at 2:37 put Duke up 75-67.
After a Justice Sueing basket for Ohio State, Duke missed three shots on its possession but retained possession after each of them. Finally, Proctor was fouled after rebounding his miss with 1:26 to play.
His two free throws extended Duke’s lead to 77-69.
“They’ve got really good size,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “As of good size as anybody in the country. But I did not think that we did a good enough job kind of making them work and earning it. We just fouled them too much.”
After leading 39-29 at halftime, Duke pushed its lead to 13 points when Lively scored inside and added a free throw for a 48-35 Duke lead with 15:55 to play.
Ohio State slowly clawed back behind Key, who scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half. The 6-8 junior’s basket and free throw at 11:57 cut Duke’s lead to 52-47.
But Filipowski countered with two free throws and Lively scored inside pushing Duke’s lead back to 56-47 with 10:58 to play.
When Key scored inside at 9:25, Duke saw its lead shrink to five points again at 59-54.
Freshman Mark Mitchell had the answer this time, drilling a 3-pointer from the left corner.
“I think it shows a level of maturity,” Young said. “We’ve got to just keep getting better at that because from here on out, we’re playing really good teams and good teams make runs, no matter how well you’re playing. So you’ve got to be able to weather the storm.”
After a nip-and-tuck start to the game, Ohio State led 22-20 when Isaac Likekele scored on a driving shot in the lane with 8:38 left before halftime.
At that point, 16 of the Buckeyes’ 22 points had come on high percentage shots in the lane.
The Blue Devils, though, shut that part of Ohio State’s game off to pull away to a 39-29 lead at halftime. Ohio State managed just two points in the paint the rest of the half.
Duke closed the half on a 19-7 run with its freshman making contributions on offense. Proctor hit two free throws then drilled a 3-pointer to put Duke in front for good at 25-22.
When Filipowski scored on a post move at the 4:09 mark, Duke led 29-23.
Dariq Whitehead unleashed a flurry of impact plays that offered a glimpse of what Duke hopes he can deliver more often. The 6-7 freshman forced a turnover with quick hands leading to Jaylen Blakes grabbing the loose ball for a steal. At the other end, Whitehead drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner giving Duke a 34-25 lead.
After two Ohio State free throws, Whitehead’s rebound basket off a Blakes miss gave Duke a 36-27 lead with 1:35 left in the half.