Duke may have lost to Purdue on Sunday, but it wasn't about to drop two in a row against the Big Ten.
The Blue Devils defeated Ohio State 81-72 in Wednesday's ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup, enacting some revenge for last year's defeat. The Buckeyes got the better of them in Columbus, Ohio, in 2021-22, but this one was in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and Jon Scheyer's team earned a win that could resonate on Selection Sunday.
Duke improved to 7-2 on the season and remained undefeated at home.
The home team used a fairly balanced attack with five players in double figures, but it was Kyle Filipowski who shined in the early going to help seize control and again in crunch time when the game was hanging in the balance on his way to 16 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
The freshman earned plenty of praise on social media:
ACC Men's Basketball @accmbb
💪💪 move by Filipowski to put Duke up 7!<a href="https://twitter.com/DukeMBB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DukeMBB</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ACCMBB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ACCMBB</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/espn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@espn</a> <a href="https://t.co/17ymvHHZFC">pic.twitter.com/17ymvHHZFC</a>
Duke built a 10-point halftime lead by forcing turnovers and taking advantage of its size to control the paint on both ends. It also held a double-digit lead at halftime in last season's matchup but lost control against a Buckeyes squad that had NBA draftees E.J. Liddell and Malaki Branham.
To Ohio State's credit, it remained within striking distance for much of the second half behind impressive play from Zed Key (21 points and eight rebounds), who capitalized on foul trouble from Filipowski and found success on the blocks.
Fittingly, it was Filipowski who scored the game's biggest basket, though, after the Scarlet and Gray cut the deficit to five in the final three minutes. He attacked the basket off the dribble and converted a monster and-1, and the Blue Devils never looked back.
They will look to keep things rolling in Saturday's ACC opener against Boston College.