Duke Basketball: Rapid Reaction to Win over Virginia

Matt OveringContributor IIIJanuary 12, 2012

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 12:  Austin Rivers #0 of the Duke Blue Devils drives against defender Akil Mitchell #25 of the Virginia Cavaliers during play at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 12, 2012 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Four Duke Blue Devils scored over 10 points in a 61-58 win against a very solid Virginia Cavaliers team. 

It was a tale of two halves for Mike Krzyzewski's squad. In the first half, Duke struggled to contain Mike Scott on defense and were out of rhythm on the offensive end, especially in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Duke relied on Mason Plumlee early in the second half to get the offense going. He finished 5-for-6 from the field, although his free-throw shooting was simply abysmal, only making 2-of-10.

Plumlee's liability shooting free throws is outweighed by his above-average passing ability and his knack for getting to the rim and finishing. He grabbed seven rebounds to go along with his 12 points and added two assists. 

But the story of this game was Duke's ability to play defense. They shut down Sammy Zeglinski, Virginia's third leading scorer, and held Mike Scott to seven points in the second half, compared to his 16 in the first.

The Blue Devil's ability to adapt on defense in the second half shows how great Coach K is at halftime adjustments. Virginia finished the first half shooting 51.9 percent from the field and finished the game at 39.3 percent from the field. 

With 15 seconds left, Virginia had two chances to send this game into overtime. Credit goes to the Duke defense for keeping the Cavaliers out of sync in the second half. Virginia finished the second half without making a single three-point shot out of the 13 they took.

Virginia has been the surprise team of the ACC, and a three-point win is nothing to be ashamed of. It was an off night for the Blue Devils from beyond the arc, going 5-for-20, a far cry from their 41.7 percent average on the year.

Duke's next game is at Clemson, Jan. 15.