Duke-UVA: Devils Run Away From Cavs Early

Jason RitchieContributor IFebruary 1, 2009

It didn't start pretty for Virginia.

In the first half, Virginia attempted 25 field goals, and turned the ball over 17 times. They shot 32 percent from the field, and scored a total of 21 points.

By contrast, Duke attempted 36 field goals, and only turned the ball over five times. Duke shot 44.4 percent from the field, and scored 43 points.

Virginia managed to right the ship in the second half, taking better care of the ball (six turnovers), and shooting a better percentage (54.2 percent). But the damage was already done.

The final score was 79-54, and the margin can mostly be attributed to turnovers—and points scored off of them. Duke scored 29 points off of 23 Virginia turnovers.

Virginia, meanwhile, only forced nine. They only managed to score two points off those turnovers.

Sylven Landesberg continued his fantastic play in this game, scoring a game-high 20 points to break Ralph Sampson's school record for most 20-point games as a freshman. But his contribution wasn't enough.

Gerald Henderson paced Duke with 18 points (16 in the decisive first half), Nolan Smith chipped in with 15 points, and Jon Scheyer added 11, to go along with seven rebounds for the 6'4" junior guard.

As it has been all season, it was Duke's defense that carried this game. Along with the aforementioned 23 turnovers, Duke held Virginia to 42.9 percent shooting for the game. Virginia was only 3-for-12 from three-point range.

Duke also won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding Virginia 34-29 for the game, and limiting Virginia to only eight offensive rebounds, and a mere five second-chance points.

Up next for Virginia is a Feb. 4th home game against a surprisingly competitive Boston College team that is currently in the top half of the ACC standings.

Duke's next game will be on Feb 4th as well, a big road test against the 12th ranked Clemson Tigers, their only meeting with the Tigers this season.