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Duke loses to Arkansas in ACC-SEC Challenge. Three takeaways from Blue Devils' loss

Steve Wiseman, The News & Observer on

Published in Basketball

Arkansas played without its leading scorer Wednesday night, but it was No. 7 Duke that lacked a scoring punch.

With Tramon Mark sidelined, Arkansas pulled away from cold-shooting Duke behind Khalif Battle’s 21 points and beat the Blue Devils, 80-75, at Bud Walton Arena.

Duke (5-2) shot 35.8% overall, hitting just 6 of 22 3-pointers (27.3%) in losing to Arkansas (5-3) before a crowd of 20,344, the largest ever in the 30-year-old building’s history.

Mark, averaging 18.4 points per game, wasn’t in uniform as he recovers from a back injury he suffered last Friday when he fell awkwardly to the court during Arkansas’ 87-72 loss to North Carolina in the Bahamas. He was taken off the court on a stretcher and treated at a hospital before traveling back to the U.S.

But Arkansas persevered behind Battle and Trevon Brazile, who scored 19 points. Arkansas shot 49% for the game, including 60.9% in the second half.

Kyle Filipowski battled first-half foul trouble to score 26 points for the Blue Devils. But he did so while hitting just 9 of 20 shots. Jeremy Roach added 22 points for Duke.

 

Razorbacks’ red-hot after halftime

Duke trailed 33-32 at halftime and the Blue Devils’ deficit remained a single point, 44-43, with 13 minutes to play when Arkansas found another gear offensively to run away.

Battle scored 13 points in a few seconds more than four minutes of play as the Razorbacks lead ballooned to 14 points. A 6-5 senior guard, Battle bewildered the Blue Devils, hitting 3-pointers and drawing fouls. He hit all five of his free throw attempts during that stretch.

His 3-pointer with 8:55 to play gave Arkansas a 63-49 lead.

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