No. 8 Duke Survives Upset Bid From No. 16 Virginia

by January 13, 2012

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

After 12 straight wins No. 16 Virginia had a chance to legitimize its run at the ACC title with a trip to No. 8 Duke. But the Blue Devils fended off the Cavaliers best efforts, hanging on for a 61-58 victory.

Duke trailed by four points at the half, but a 7-0 run after the game was tied at 38 put the team up for good. Virginia, though, had its chances at the end of the game. Mike Scott and Jontel Evans missed consecutive three-point attempts at the end of regulation that would have tied the game.

Virginia is known for its low-scoring, grind it out defensive style, but on Thursday it was Duke that brought it from that end of the floor. The Blue Devils held the Cavaliers to 39.3 percent shooting from the field, and the guard tandem of Evans and Sammy Zeglinski shot a combined 0-for-14.

Winning with defense, not offense, was something that made Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski proud.

From the News & Observer:

“We played really good defense,” Krzyzewski said. “We can play defense, too. Just remember the teams we’ve played against are really good. You can play defense a variety of ways. I thought they played it well, and I thought we played it well tonight.”

After just two ACC games for each team, only Duke and North Carolina remain undefeated in conference play. The two teams figure to be up there all season in what should be a top-heavy conference.