When the No. 22 Michigan Wolverines walked into Cameron Indoor Stadium to face the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils for a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game, they had to know they were in store for a tough contest, as every opponent does when walking into the legendary arena. However, I don’t think they expected to be held to 22 first-half points. With the win, Duke improves to 7-2, while Michigan falls to 5-3 on the year.
Unlike the previous eight games, the story for Duke in this contest was not Jabari Parker’s dominance. Instead, it was what Duke did defensively.
Two of Michigan’s standout players, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas, were held completely ineffective, with Robinson III held to eight points due to foul trouble and the sharpshooter Stauskas held to only four points, which all came at the free throw line. Coming into the game, Stauskas was averaging 20.3 points per game. Caris LeVert with 24 points, and Mitch McGary with 15 points, were the only Wolverines in double-figures.
Michigan was held to 3-for-13 shooting from the outside, good for 23.1 percent.
Duke’s relentless defensive intensity in the first half was the reason for their victory.
Duke was led offensively by Quinn Cook, who recorded 24 points, four rebounds and nine assists, Parker, who had 15 points and six rebounds, and Rodney Hood, who had 14 points and five rebounds.
This was an especially important win for Duke, who failed in their previous two tests against ranked opponents this season. On Nov. 12, they lost 94-83 to the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks. Then, on Nov. 29, they fell 72-66 to No. 4 Arizona Wildcats.
Looking forward, they have one more non-conference test before ACCplay begins in early January, when they take on the No. 18 UCLA Bruins on Dec. 19.