The University of Hartford men’s basketball team traveled from West Hartford to Durham, NC, on Wednesday to face the No. 3-ranked Duke Blue Devils.
Submitted by the University of Hartford
The Hartford men’s basketball team put up a valiant fight on Wednesday, but was unable to pull off the upset as No. 3 Duke pulled away to take an 84-54 decision. Senior J.R. Lynch scored 13 points to pace the Hawks, who hung around well into the second half.
Hartford dips to 3-7 with the defeat, while Duke improves to 8-1 on the season. RJ Barrett recorded a double-double with game highs of 27 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Blue Devils.
The final score was No. 3 Duke 84, Hartford 54.
Duke went up, 12-2, within the first 7:14, but the Hawks kept pace with the Blue Devils for the remainder of the half. Going basket for basket over the next nine minutes, senior George Blagojevic pulled the Hawks within eight (26-18) with 3:40 to go before Lynch scored six of the final eight points of the half to make it a 33-24 margin at halftime.
Hartford continued to hang around, and with 18:22 left, a 7-3 spurt capped by a three-pointer by senior Jason Dunne pulled the Hawks within five at 36-31. The Hawks would remain within striking distance with another triple by Dunne making it an eight-point game with just over 12 minutes to go, but Duke rallied to score 12 of the next 15 points to take its largest lead to that point (59-42) before cruising to the win.
Inside the box and notes
- The Hawks held the Blue Devils to a season-low 33 points in the first half, in addition to holding Duke to its lowest point total all season.
- Hartford’s defense also held Duke to a season-low five three-pointers. The Blue Devils started the game 0-for-10 from behind the arc.
- Dunne added 12 points, while Blagojevic came one point shy of his second double-double of the season with nine points and 11 boards.
- The Hawks took a big hit when redshirt-senior John Carroll, who scored Hartford’s first four points of the second half, fouled out of the contest with 13:51 left to play.
Next on tap
Hartford has a week off before returning to the road to take on Bryant on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Hawks and Bulldogs are slated for a 7 p.m. tip from Smithfield, RI.
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