Red-hot shooting boosts Blue Devils. Three takeaways from No. 8 Duke’s win at Miami

No. 8 Duke’s prolific 3-point shooting and shutdown defense propelled the Blue Devils to a lopsided win and a share of the ACC lead on Wednesday night.

Duke tied a season high with 13 3-pointers, which were more than enough because the Blue Devils limited Miami to 31% shooting on the way to a 84-55 victory at the Watsco Center.

Winners of five consecutive games and 16 of their last 18 overall, the Blue Devils (21-5, 12-3 ACC) moved into a tie with rival North Carolina (20-6, 12-3) atop the ACC standings with five games to play before the league’s postseason tournament.

A Final Four team a year ago, Miami (15-12, 6-10 ACC) suffered its fifth consecutive loss as it struggled without injured guard Nigel Pack. The Hurricanes shot just 29% in the first half as the Blue Devils built a 40-23 lead at intermission.

Jeremy Roach hit four of Duke’s 3-pointers on the way to a team-best 16 points. Kyle Filipowski and Mark Mitchell each added 15 points as the Blue Devils shot 51.9% overall, while hitting 48% of their 3-pointers.

Blue Devils 3-point barrage

A solid 3-point shooting team for the season (37.6%, No. 20 nationally), the Blue Devils went through a slump earlier this month when the failed to hit at least 30% of them three times in a stretch of four games. That included a 5 of 19 night (26.3%) while losing 93-84 at UNC on Feb. 3.

Duke hit 10 of 16 (62.5%) while beating Florida State on Saturday but that was mostly because Jared McCain made 8 of 11.

At Miami, though, Duke had multiple players turn in strong shooting nights. Roach’s four 3-pointers on six attempts led the way while Foster sank 3 of 6. Filipowski made 2 of 3 and Tyrese Proctor 2 of 6. McCain, after his record day against Florida State, made just 1 of 6 against Miami.

Duke hit 5 of its first 10 3-pointers against Miami, including a Proctor 3 and back-to-back 3-pointers from Caleb Foster during a 13-0 Duke first-half run.

Previously this season, the most 3-pointers Duke made against an ACC foe was 11 in a 75-53 win at Pittsburgh on Jan. 9. Duke also hit 13 3-pointers in a 90-60 win over Bucknell on Nov. 17.

Locking down on defense

Miami’s 31.1% is the lowest shooting percentage for any ACC team against Duke this season. For the most part, Duke was effective keeping the ball out of the paint as well as staying with Miami’s perimeter shooters to force tough shot attempts.

Proctor returns

After not making the trip to Tallahassee last weekend when Duke won 76-67 at Florida State, Proctor was cleared from concussion protocol and returned against Miami following a one-game absence.

He entered the game with 14:10 left in the first half and hit a 3-pointer at 10:08 that started a 13-0 Duke run.

Having the 6-5 sophomore come off the bench has proven successful for the Blue Devils. This season, while opening with the starting five used against Miami (Roach, McCain, Flilipowski, Mitchell and Foster), Duke is 10-0 this season. In four of those games, of course, Proctor wasn’t in uniform due to injury. But he’s come off the bench in six other Duke wins.