Paolo Banchero, Mark Williams lead Duke to win over No. 1 Gonzaga
Duke pulled off a big upset on Friday night, defeating No. 5 Gonzaga 84-81 in Las Vegas.
It was a close game throughout the night, but the Blue Devils controlled play for most of the game. They led for over 27 minutes of game time, including the final 5:07.
Duke’s frontcourt of Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams simply dominated this game. Banchero turned in a special first-half performance, scoring 20 points before the break. He battled cramps in the second half and ended the game with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting. But he was also excellent defensively and finished a team-high +13 on the night.
Williams controlled the paint on both ends of the floor. He made 8 of his 9 field goal attempts, swatted 5 shots and grabbed 2 steals. He also led Duke with 9 rebounds. He proved to be incredibly impactful as Duke’s primary rim protector.
Banchero out-dueled fellow 5-star freshman Chet Holmgren, who struggled with the physicality of this game at times. He still managed to produce 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Banchero was clearly the best player on the floor in the first half:
This entire Paolo Banchero sequence was 🤌 pic.twitter.com/aaW6ezkPF5
— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) November 27, 2021
The Blue Devils were 8.5-point underdogs coming into this matchup. Now, Duke will likely be the new No. 1 team in the country when the new AP Poll is released on Monday.
Duke will look to improve to 8-0 on Tuesday vs. Ohio State.