ORLANDO, Fla. – A postseason career-high 23 points from Jeremy Roach helped No. 5-seed Duke advance past Oral Roberts, 74-51, in the NCAA Tournament First Round on Thursday night at the Amway Center. The Blue Devils (27-8) never trailed in Orlando as head coach Jon Scheyer secured his first NCAA Tournament victory as head coach.
Roach’s 23 points matched his career high, which he set in the Blue Devils’ previous game, a victory over Virginia in the ACC Championship game. Duke’s defense limited an explosive Oral Roberts offense to a season-low 23 first-half points. The Golden Eagles’ 51 total points were 33.2 below their season average entering Thursday night’s game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Duke’s first points came from a dunk by Dereck Lively II just over three minutes into the game. On the defensive end of the floor, the Blue Devils managed to hold Oral Roberts without a point for over four minutes and took an 11-0 lead, forcing an early timeout by the Golden Eagles.
- Duke extended the ORU scoreless drought to over eight minutes, forcing a 0-for-12 start from the field, and the Blue Devils picked up seven early points from Jeremy Roach to lead, 15-0, with 12:16 remaining in the first half.
- Three-pointers by Dariq Whitehead and Jacob Grandison gave Duke its largest lead of the first half so far, 25-7, at the 8:35 mark. Another jumper by Whitehead three minutes later pushed the freshman into double figures.
- The Blue Devils went up by 20, 38-18, off a reverse layup by Roach with just over a minute remaining in the opening frame. A late three-pointer by Oral Roberts sent the teams into halftime separated by 17, 40-23.
- Similar to the first half, Duke’s defense limited Oral Roberts’ offense to start the second period. A 0-for-6 streak out of the break by the Golden Eagles helped the Blue Devils extend their lead, 48-23, just over four minutes into the second half.
- A 15-2 scoring run by the Golden Eagles spanning four minutes of action trimmed Duke’s lead to under 15, 54-40, with 8:51 to play. Tyrese Proctor responded with his first three-pointer of the night and ended ORU’s burst.
- Roach eclipsed 20 points for the third time in the last six games with a high-arcing floater in the lane, giving Duke a…
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