Duke continues push for NCAA Tournament bid with 4th straight win

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Duke players gather for a timeout during an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in South Bend, Ind. Duke won 75-65. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Duke continues to make a late-season push for an at-large NCAA Tournament win after an 85-71 win over Syracuse Monday night. The win is Duke’s fourth in a row, marking its longest streak of the season.

The Blue Devils scored 52 points in the first half of the convincing win. Kadary Richmond’s jumper had cut Syracuse’s early deficit back down to six, 18-12, with 13:11 left in the first half. A Mark Williams dunk would then ignite an 18-2 run fueled by sharpshooting from DJ Steward and Jeremy Roach. The end result was a 36-14 lead with less than 7 minutes before the break.

Even back-to-back 3-pointers from Buddy Boeheim couldn’t cut Duke’s advantage to single digits before halftime.

Syracuse’s offense seemed was more productive in the second half, but the Orange defense didn’t have many answered for the Blue Devils. The hosts finished 34-of-64 from the floor, including 13-of-29 from 3-point range.

Steward led Duke with 21 points and added 7 assists. Williams had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The Blue Devils, who rode a win over No. 7 Virginia into Monday, also had Matthew Hurt (15) and Roach (14) score in double figures.

Boeheim led Syracuse with 21 points. Three others finished in double figures.

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