Duke could have played better two days after notching an emotional win over UNC.
It might have been hard for the Blue Devils to be worse.
No. 19 Miami ran Duke off the court in an 81-59 win on Monday night at Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
Take your pick of where things went wrong for the Blue Devils (17-7, 8-5 ACC); it was mostly a dominant performance from a team that Duke beat 68-66 a couple of weeks ago.
Early and too often, Duke looked to be tired and lethargic. That led to 21 turnovers, matching a season-high, which Miami (19-5, 10-4) turned into 23 points. The other time Duke had 21 turnovers was the other time it was blown out in a road ACC game, the loss at N.C. State.
A lot of those turnovers turned the second half into a dunk-a-thon for Miami, as the Hurricanes opened up as large as a 26-point lead.
There’s the built-in excuse for the Blue Devils that they poured it all out 48 hours prior in beating UNC 63-57.
Surely that played a factor, though it’s not like Miami had ample rest; the Hurricanes won 78-74 at Clemson on Saturday.
Miami moved to a half-game behind first-place Clemson in the ACC standings, while Duke is in sixth.
Duke trailed 10-1 less than 2½ minutes into the game, prompting a timeout from Jon Scheyer. He told sideline reporter Andraya Carter at halftime that he was unhappy with Duke’s toughness, and it didn’t seem like that improved in the second half.
There were times in the first half that things looked to be turning around for Duke. Those were fleeting and mostly forgotten when Miami stretched the lead to as much as 17 in the first half, and led 40-26 at halftime.
The first possession of each team, really, told you exactly what was coming. Mark Mitchell missed a shot to open the game, and center Norchad Omier — who entered the game 1-for-10 on 3s this season — calmly stroked a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
For good measure, Omier made another 3 in the second half. He led Miami with 17 points, while Jordan Miller scored 16, Wooga Poplar had 14 and Isaiah Wong added 11.
Dereck Lively II, named the ACC’s rookie of the week earlier Monday, had 11 points, six rebounds and five blocks. He and Ryan Young (11 points) led Duke in scoring — and to drive home how experimental Scheyer got with lineups in the closing minutes, those two played together for one stretch.
Duke’s starting backcourt, Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor, had a combined 69 points and 10 turnovers in two games last week. They had 13 points and 10 turnovers against Miami.