Game Recap (Men’s Basketball): #2 Duke vs #15 Iona
By: Cale Berger
In the second first round game from PPG Paints Arena, the always offensively-potent, 2-seed Duke Blue Devils took on the MAAC champion, 15-seed Iona Gaels. Duke started off red-hot from the field, knocking down 4 of their first 6 three-point attempts. This didn’t deter the Gaels, as they also got off to a strong start with 8 points from Schadrac Casimir alone in just 5 minutes of play. They trailed the Blue Devils 19-17 at the first media timeout. Freshman Marvin Bagley was asserting his dominance for Duke early, but Iona was still in the thick of it trailing by just three at 26-23 with 10:30 left in the first. The Blue Devils then tightened up their defense, and capitalized on hot shooting from Gary Trent Jr. to go on a 14-2 run that extended their margin to 40-25. A Grayson Allen buzzer-beating three at the end of the half gave Duke a 53-39 lead. Bagley led all scorers with 14, and forward Roland Griffin was led the way for the Gaels with 11. Duke shot 9 of 16 from beyond the three-point line.
It was more of the same for Duke to start the second half, as their size inside continued to give Iona problems. Bagley and fellow freshman Wendell Carter Jr. continued their solid play both on the glass and in the scoring column, powering Duke to a 23-point lead at the 15:47 left to play. Trent Jr. splashed his third three of the game with 10:23 left to play giving them a 75-50 lead. Duke’s modified 2-3 zone proved difficult for Iona to handle. The Gaels struggled from the perimeter attempting to beat the zone.
The Blue Devils proved to much for the Gaels, as they took the first round matchup 89-67. Bagley finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds, followed by freshman guard Trevon Duval with 19. Senior guard Grayson Allen added 16 points as well in the opening game of his fourth tournament appearance. For Iona, Roland Griffin tallied 21 points off the bench, adding 5 rebounds as well. With the win, Duke advances to play 7-seed Rhode Island on Saturday.