Fri, 03 Feb 2023

No. 8 Duke finds its offense, gets past Xavier into Legacy final

Field Level Media
26 Nov 2022, 08:55 GMT+10

Jeremy Roach scored 21 points and hit key shots in the second half as No. 8 Duke fended off Xavier for a 71-64 victory in a semifinal game of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament Saturday afternoon at Portland, Ore.

Mark Mitchell added 16 points and Kyle Filipowski had 12 while the freshman pair combined on nine rebounds to send the Blue Devils to the tournament final Sunday.

Roach, who supplied a team-high five assists, shot 9 for 15 from the field for Duke, which shot 50 percent from the field after failing to hit at a 30 percent clip a day earlier.

Souley Boum's 23 points paced Xavier, while Adam Kunkel had 12 points and Colby Jones supplied 10 first-half points.

Duke (6-1) will take on the winner of a later semifinal between No. 6 Gonzaga or No. 24 Purdue in Sunday's championship game. Xavier (4-2) meets the loser.

Despite Xavier hanging around, Duke never relinquished the lead coming down the stretch.

With the Blue Devils clinging to leads of five, four and three points in the last 10 1/2 minutes, it was Roach who delivered a basket to help steady the team.

Xavier was within 65-62 before it endured a scoring drought of almost five minutes. Its only points in the last 5:09 came on Jack Nunge's two free throws at the 13-second mark.

Duke began the second half on a 9-2 run, resulting in a Xavier timeout. Mitchell scored seven of those points, capped by a 3-pointer.

Kunkel sparked Xavier's comeback. He scored eight points in a four-minute stretch as the Musketeers closed to within 53-50.

Duke shot 56 percent from the field in the opening half, yet its lead was only 40-34. Still, it was a huge offensive upgrade for the Blue Devils after struggling with shooting in Thursday's 54-51 victory against Oregon State.

Duke had 13 first-half points from its bench.

The Blue Devils have won each of the five all-time meetings with Xavier, though this was the first clash between the programs in nearly 14 years.

--Field Level Media

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