Keshad Johnson's late basket helps No. 12 Arizona beat No. 2 Duke 78-73 at Cameron
Sat, Nov 11, 2023
NCAAB News (AP)
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Arizona passed every final-minute test in No. 2 Duke's famously hostile home arena to win an intense game carrying postseason vibes despite its November date.
For coach Tommy Lloyd, it's a only first step for the 12th-ranked Wildcats.
Keshad Johnson hit a tough whistle-drawing layup for a three-point play with 46.8 seconds left that pushed Arizona in front on the way to a 78-73 win at Duke on Friday night, marking the Wildcats' first road win against a top-2 ranked opponent since March 2001.
"I know a lot will be made of us winning here," Lloyd said. "Duke's obviously a great program. ... But we're on a longer journey than this."
The Wildcats bullied the Blue Devils in the first half on the glass and led by eight at the break at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Then, in the final tense nine minutes, the teams were never separated by more than four points until K.J. Lewis' dunk with 0.6 second left for the final margin.
Johnson finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats (2-0), including a key layup off a feed from Pelle Larsson moments earlier to tie the game at 67.
"It just came at the right timing," Johnson said of his late baskets, adding: "I just kept my head down and wanted to do anything that could get my team the win."
Caleb Love - a transfer from hated Duke rival North Carolina who heard plenty from the "Cameron Crazies" all night - also came up big late by assisting on Johnson's go-ahead score and making four free throws during Arizona's 6-for-6 finish at the line in the final 20 seconds.
When it was over, Arizona's players celebrated near midcourt, with Love (11 points) waving goodbye to the irate Crazies and offering some testy words as big man Oumar Ballo extended his arms to blow them kisses.
Preseason Associated Press All-American Kyle Filipowski had 25 points for the Blue Devils (1-1), who were outrebounded 45-33.
"Small or big or whatever, it's still about effort," Duke coach Jon Scheyer said. "It's still about blocking out and pursuing the ball. We're going to find a few times tonight when we stood and watched."
The game opened a home-and-home series between marquee-brand programs, the kind of matchup that's becoming trickier for coaches to schedule in a time of changing conferences and neutral-court dates. It also featured the return of former Duke Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski to a courtside seat for just his second game here since his 2022 retirement.
Arizona: The Wildcats showed off their depth and athleticism, from Johnson's range ability at both ends to Ballo inside (13 points). Arizona's board-work stood out, including the Wildcats nearly doubling Duke on the offensive glass (15-8).
Duke: The Blue Devils got a boost with the return of athletic wing Mark Mitchell from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the opener. Duke needed him to counter the Wildcats' athleticism. But outside of Jeremy Roach (17 points), the Blue Devils got little offensive support for Filipowski.
"I think it's a good little awakening for us of what's to come," Filipowski said.
Arizona: The Wildcats host Southern on Monday.
Duke: The Blue Devils get another marquee matchup against fourth-ranked Michigan State in the Champions Classic in Chicago on Tuesday.
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