SOUTH BEND, Ind. — No. 21 Duke heads into Monday night’s clash with No. 20 Notre Dame hoping to build on the victory and the energy from the comeback win against Wake Forest on Saturday.
The Blue Devils (16-5, 4-4 ACC) rallied to beat the Demon Deacons 85-83 with Luke Kennard leading the recovery with a brilliant 30 point second half performance in which he made all 10 of his shots in the second half and connected on all six of his 3-pointers overall.
“I thought we fought, we let out, we were free,” said Kennard, who scored 12 of Duke’s final 15 points against Wake Forest at the weekend. “We had freedom.”
On Monday, Kennard and Duke head to the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, hoping to take advantage of a poor run at the moment by the Fighting Irish, who have lost two straight and three of the last four games overall.
Notre Dame (17-5, 6-3 ACC) is coming off a shocking 62-60 defeat against Georgia Tech on Saturday and will be desperate to snap the unwanted streak against a Duke team that still looks uncertain, especially at the point guard position.
ROAD CHALLENGE and STATS
The Blue Devils head to Indiana, seeking their first victory on the road against Notre Dame since the Fighting Irish joined the ACC.
Duke enters the matchup on Monday night leading the all-time series, 20-7, but Notre Dame, which is 12-1 at home this season, has won three straight in this series, including the two meetings last season.
Kennard, who is averaging 20.4 points, with 5.4 rebounds per game, leads five Duke players averaging double-digit scoring this campaign.
Jayson Tatum is scoring 15.8 points per game and grabbing 6.4 rebounds, while Grayson Allen is scoring 15.3 points, Amile Jefferson is averaging 12.2 points and 9.5 rebounds and Frank Jackson is scoring 10.8 points.
For Notre Dame, Bonzie Colson is averaging a double-double of 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this season and he leads three others scoring in double figures for the Fighting Irish.
V.J. Beachem, who has scored 20 or more points six times this season and is coming off a 23-point performance in the defeat against Georgia Tech, is averaging 14.5 points per game.
Steve Vasturia is also scoring 14.5 points, while Matt Farrell is averaging 14.0 per contest this season.