Barrett helps Duke top Virginia in ACC clash

Duke's Zion Williamson goes the basket against Boston College on Feb. 5 2019

As a result of its 13-for-21 mark from beyond the arc - the Blue Devils entered the game shooting just 30.7 percent from deep for the season - No. 2 Duke (21-2; 9-1 ACC) escaped with an 81-71 win in Charlottesville on Saturday night, giving the Cavaliers (20-2; 8-2 ACC) their second loss of the season, both at the hands of the Blue Devils. He and Barrett have continually taken center stage, while fellow freshmen Cam Reddish (17 points) and Tre Jones (13 points, seven assists, six rebounds) also had strong showings. Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome scored 16 points apiece for Virginia, who couldn't avenge their 72-70 loss to the Blue Devils on January 19.

Duke scored the first eight points on a pair of 3-pointers by Barrett sandwiching a steal and dunk by Williamson. James was dribbling a basketball and laughing as the Blue Devils poured out of the locker room for warm-ups.

But since then, Duke has only hit 10 or more 3-pointers in four other games prior to Saturday at Virginia.

Virginia has the nation's top defense, as the Cavs are giving up just 52.9 points per game while holding opponents to 37 percent shooting from the field and 24.7 percent from the arc. The 7-foot-1 redshirt sophomore made a three-pointer and delivered a pass into a tight window to Braxton Key for a layup that trimmed the deficit to 54-49 with 12:19 to play.

But if any player might supplant Williamson at the top of the draft, it's Barrett. Saturday will be about Virginia getting their points from 3-point land.

According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Virginia is the slight favorite at home, as the Cavaliers are getting odds of -1.5 points against Duke.

You could find 300 or so college basketball teams shooting better from behind the 3-point line. They were quicker to the ball.

Williamson rebounded Barrett's missed shot and scored with 4:02 for a 70-61 Duke lead.


Duke led by as many as 14 before the break, but Virginia closed the gap late in the first half after heating up and taking advantage of the Blue Devils' nine first-half turnovers.

The Blue Devils' first two made field goals were Barrett 3-pointers as Duke jumped to an 8-0 lead. He also had seven assists, six rebounds, and two steals.

"It was one of my poorer performances in the first 15 minutes of the first half", Guy said.

But if the Blue Devils' 3-point shooting stroke is true, everyone could simply be playing for second place.

Duke used a Reddish 3-pointer and a traditional 3-point play from Williamson to help stave off the Virginia charge.

In Saturday's second half, James was sitting underneath Duke's basket with Rondo and some of his friends, including his agent, Rich Paul.

Duke shot 59.1 percent in the first half, including 8 of 11 3-pointers (72.7 percent).

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