DURHAM — Campbell pushed ninth-ranked Duke to the brink of an upset Saturday night, but the Blue Devils held off the Camels 67-56 in the final game of the Duke Veterans Day Weekend Showcase at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Paolo Banchero scored 18 points, Wendell Moore, Jr. added 15, while Jeremy Roach (14) and Joey Baker (11) also hit double figures for Duke (3-0), which trailed by 10 points early.
Cedric Henderson, Jr. scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Ricky Clemons finished with 18 points – one shy of his career high – for the Camels, who trailed by just six with 7:13 to play. Jesus Carralero added 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Camels, who shot just 36 percent from the field, but out-rebounded a Duke team 34-31 that started two players 6-foot-10 or taller.
“That was really a good basketball game,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “They are really a well-coached, disciplined team. That could be a first round NCAA tournament game tonight. They are disciplined deep into the shot clock. That doesn’t happen with a lot of teams. These guys know how to play basketball.”
Henderson finished 8-of-15 from the floor while posting his second career double-double and did not commit a turnover in 38 minutes. Clemons was 7-of-10 from the field and dealt three assists in 35 minutes of turnover-free ball.
Campbell committed just 13 turnovers in its two games over the weekend.
Duke shot 50 percent (25-50) from the field, hit 9-of-23 threes (.391) and converted nine Camel turnovers into 16 points.
Saturday’s 11-point loss was the second closest game the Camels have played against a nationally-ranked opponent in the program’s NCAA Division I history, which dates to 1977-78. No. 21 Virginia Tech defeated CU 70-60 on Nov. 12, 2010 at Blacksburg.
One day after defeating 2021 NCAA tournament participant Hartford 68-67, the Camels knocked down 4 of their first 6 attempts from 3-point distance and Messiah Thompson’s pull up triple gave CU an 18-8 lead with 13:55 left in the opening half.
Duke responded with a 14-3 burst and led 33-29 at the break. Campbell stayed close thanks to an 11-0 edge in second-chance points and 6-of-15 (.400) 3-point shooting. However, the Camels missed all eight of their threes in the final period.
Clemons’ three-point play with 13:42 remaining pulled the Camels within 39-38. However, Moore’s dunk and Baker’s corner three capped a 15-4 burst to the Blue Devil advantage to double digits (54-42) for the first time.
Carralero found Clemons underneath for a layup and Henderson’s pullup jumper trimmed the gap to 56-50 with 7:13 left, but the Camels went more than five minutes before scoring again.
Campbell returns to action Thursday (Nov. 18) at Marshall.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)