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#14 Duke Blows Past Syracuse, 86-66

DURHAM – Duke men’s basketball went 18-of-24 (.750) from the field in the second half, including a perfect 8-of-8 from beyond the arc, as the Blue Devils (10-3, 1-1) soared to an 86-66 victory over Syracuse (10-4, 1-2) on Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mark Mitchell led Duke with a career-high 21 points and was joined in double-figures by four teammates – Jared McCain (18), Jeremy Roach (17), Tyrese Proctor (14) and Kyle Filipowski (12) – marking the second time this season Duke has had five players score at least 10 points.

With the victory, Duke has now won 17 consecutive ACC home lid-lifters and has been victorious in 26 of its last 27 ACC home openers.


  • Jared McCain picked up from where he left off in Duke’s last game, as the freshman guard knocked down his first shot of the game on the opening possession. The Blue Devils’ defense held Syracuse without a made shot for over three minutes and an old-fashioned three-point-play by Jeremy Roach gave Duke an early 7-1 lead.
  • Syracuse answered with eight straight points to take its first lead of the contest before McCain laid in a layup to stop the scoring run and knot the score at 9-9. Following a 10-2 run by Duke to put the hosts ahead, 17-11, Syracuse responded with a scoring burst of its own, 9-2, and held a slight edge, 20-19, at the under-eight media timeout.
  • Mark Mitchell slammed home a dunk with 6:44 on the clock and followed up with a fast-break three-point play to push the sophomore into double-figures with 11 points. The Blue Devils remained ahead, 29-27, at the final media break of the first half. The margin remained the same at halftime, 35-33, with Duke led by Mitchell’s 18 first-half points – the most points scored by a Blue Devil in an opening frame this season.
  • The second half started with a three-pointer via McCain and then the two teams traded baskets over the next eight possessions. Three-pointers by Roach and Tyrese Proctor pushed Duke’s lead to five, 52-47, at the 13:47 mark. Another long-distance bucket, this time from McCain, gave the Blue Devils their first double-digit lead of the contest with just under 12 minutes remaining in the game. McCain’s third three-pointer of the second half pushed Duke’s run to 13-2 and forced a Syracuse timeout with the lead at 62-47.
  • The Blue Devils remained hot from beyond the arc, knocking down their first seven three-pointers of the second half and remained in control, 70-58, with 7:21 left to play. Mitchell set a new career-high, scoring his 21st point of the night with a free throw at 5:21 in the second frame.
  • The Orange drew within 13 points, 79-66, as the clock ticked towards 90 seconds remaining. Duke connected on two free throws to go back up by 15 and went on to close out the 86-66 victory.


  • Duke’s 86-66 victory over Syracuse is the 17th straight ACC home-opening win for the Blue Devils.
  • After missing all nine 3-point attempts in the first half, Duke converted all eight shots from behind the arc in the second half; marking the first time in Duke men’s basketball history that the Blue Devils did not convert a 3-pointer in the first half, followed by a perfect shooting performance from long distance in the second half.
  • Duke’s 8-for-8 shooting from behind the arc in the second half represents the most made 3-pointers in a half without a miss in Duke history.
  • The Blue Devils shot 18-of-24 (75.0%) from the field in the second half, their best shooting performance in any half this season, bettering the 70.0% effort (21-of-30) in the second stanza versus Dartmouth on Nov. 6, 2023.
  • Duke’s defense held Syracuse to 66 points, 12.4 below its season average of 78.4 points. The Blue Devils have now held each of their 13 opponents below their respective scoring average.
  • The Blue Devils’ defense also tallied a season-high 11 steals for the second straight game and forced 17 turnovers, yielding 26 points off Orange miscues.
  • Duke converted 16-of-18 from the charity stripe for a season-high 88.9% free-throw shooting effort.
  • Duke has now won nine in-a-row over the Orange and 11 of the last 12 to improve its series lead to 16-6.
  • Five Blue Devils scored in double figures for the second time this season, after achieving the feat for the first time in Duke’s win over Baylor on Dec. 20, 2023.
  • Mark Mitchell scored a career-high 21 points, including 18 in the first half, the most first-half points by a Blue Devil this season. The sophomore forward added six rebounds and equaled season-highs with three assists and two blocked shots.
  • Jared McCain nailed all four of his 3-point shots after intermission to finish with 18 points. The freshman guard has now made three 3-pointers or more in six games this season, including five straight outings. The Blue Devils are 6-0 when McCain makes at least three triples.
  • During Duke’s five-game win streak, McCain is shooting 17-of-32 (53.1%) from beyond the arc and is averaging 19.4 points per contest.
  • Jeremy Roach shot 7-of-11 from the field, including 2-for-2 from long range, and made his lone free throw for 17 points. The senior guard also contributed four boards, two assists and two steals.
  • Tyrese Proctor registered 14 points and a team-best four assists, while Kyle Filipowski amassed 12 points, a team-high seven rebounds, three helpers, a steal and a blocked shot.


  • “I just thought it was a tough conference win. It’s what you’re going to see in that first half. I thought it was, obviously, very disjointed. We had three guys Jeremy [Roach], Flip [Kyle Filipowski], and Ryan [Young] that had two or more fouls. Flip hardly played in the first half. We can’t make a three and I thought the job that Mark [Mitchell] did in that first half, and it’s not just the scoring, it’s him, I’m proud of him for just trusting the process and doubling down on his work. It’s not easy playing here. There’s a lot of criticism and all that. But I think Mark has really stayed the course and he’s had to adjust people guarding him differently on offense. Really, the best thing he does, Mark Mitchell is a winner. That dude is a winner, competitor, connector and I thought he was himself tonight” – Duke head coach Jon Scheyer
  • “Obviously, I try to play hard and do what I can.  Each and every night, it could be somebody different.  Tonight was my night and I had some good finishes.  I was just taking my time, being patient and seeing what the defense was giving me, and go from there. … When you get into this time of year, in ACC play, I think it just takes different things to win, and I think tonight in the second half we figured out some of those things.  We got down, got stops, and that’s what it takes.” – Duke sophomore Mark Mitchell


  • No. 14 Duke (10-3, 1-1 ACC) plays its third true road game of the season at Notre Dame (6-7, 1-1 ACC) on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. on the ACC Network.

To stay up to date with Blue Devils men’s basketball, follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook by searching “DukeMBB”.






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